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Friday, October 18, 2013

Favorite Things: Roasted Winter Squash Soup

This soup is amazing - creamy, rich, and so very good for the soul. 

First: Roast the Squash

2 -3 medium-sized squash: butternut, acorn, delicata, etc
     (you will need 2 - 3 cups of roasted squash for your soup)
olive oil
salt & pepper

To roast, wash the outside of the squash, carefully cut open (sometimes it's easier to remove the stem first), and clean out.  Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Turn cut-side down in a large pan and cook at 375 degrees for 1 hour, or until squash flesh is very, very tender and no longer hard or stringy.

Allow the squash to cool, then gently scoop the flesh out into a large bowl, making sure not to get any skin.  You can either choose to blend your squash now, or wait until it is in the soup.

Should you care to stop here, I say go ahead!  Pureed squash is pure heaven in my book!

Second: Make the Soup

2-3 cups roasted squash
2 quarts chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 small onion, finely chopped
olive oil & butter
salt & pepper
immersion (or regular) blender

Cook the chopped onion in a little bit of olive oil and butter.  Once onion is tender, add chicken broth and squash pulp.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer about 20-30 minutes.  

To puree the soup, either allow to cool and carefully blend a few cups at a time in a regular blender or very carefully use an immersion blender set on low to blend to a smooth consistency.  (Here is where it is easier if the squash flesh was already pureed to start with.)

- Roasting extra squash is good.  If you like a thicker soup, you add more squash flesh.  This is something you can eyeball.  The bonus is you get to eat any extra squash you don't use in the soup!

- This makes a lot, so throw some in the freezer for a cold winter day.  Or, a warm spring one for that matter.  Squash soup is good all the time!

- My mom made a version with sweet Italian sausage, and I have to say, it worked for me.  Gave it a nice zip and depth.