butternut squash soup

November 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

this is one of my all-time favorite cold-weather comfort foods.

The recipe was perfected over three years of law school by Kim, Aine and me– all who frequently used cooking and baking as an excuse to stop studying. I mean, girls have gotta eat, right?

the stuff:
a medium-sized butternut squash (a must)
1 32oz. container of stock (vegetable or chicken)– I use just less than the full box (must).
apple (optional)
peanut butter to taste (approximately 1c.) (must)
spices: dig in your spice cabinet and think christmas. cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, etc.
yellow onion (must)
garlic or shallot (optional).
1/2-1c. half-and-half or cream (clearly, heaving whipping cream is the most delicious option) (must).

cut and seed your squash. put cut squash in the oven at around 350-375 degrees, uncovered, in some water. flip occasionally to make sure the squash isn’t drying out in some places. keep them in the oven until you can pierce the squashlettes with a fork, approximately 45 minutes. remove and allow to cool enough that you’re able to remove the skin.* while you’re waiting, saute a chopped half-to-full onion (depending on the size of your squash), and in the garlic or shallot, in butter or olive oil. if you’re adding an apple, cut that up and toss it in, too. when the onion starts to become translucent, sprinkle with your spices (maybe 1/2t. of each), and stir to distribute. take a moment to reflect on how lovely your kitchen smells. add in stock (just enough to cover) and bring to a low boil.

add in de-skinned squashlettes and stir. ideally, you’d like the squash to continue to break down, so feel free to help it along. add more stock as needed to keep covered. reduce heat, cover and simmer, approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (you’re just trying to avoid letting anything on the bottom burn). if you want your soup to be a bit thinner, add in more stock until you’ve achieved your desired consistency. after things are beginning to be all mix-y, and you’re happy with the consistency, add in some peanut butter, to taste (in my book, the more the merrier. i usually end up using about 1 cup**) stir to combine.

blend the soup– either by transferring to your blender in batches, or using an immersion blender in the pot. add in cream and stir to combine. remove from heat, and transfer to blender. blend until smooth.

serve with gorgonzola or bleu cheese for sprinkling (if you’re not a fan of the stinky cheeses, chevre would also be nice) and bread for dipping***.

mmmmm, comfort soup.

*I think that waiting for squash to cook in the oven is a pain in the butt, which causes me to cook with it less than I otherwise might, despite its unabashed deliciousness. Inspired by Larina’s discovery of frozen butternut squash in “your grocer’s freezer,” I roasted some extra squash this round, peeled it, and stuck it in the freezer, ziploc-ed. I will report back in the future on the usefulness of this effort.

**Trusty sidekick thinks this may be slightly too much peanut butter. I respectfully disagree, but note it here as feedback.

***I considered posting the recipe for the bread, which came from Nigella Lawson’s “How to Be a Domestic Goddess” (which I totally bought for the, um, articles). But, though tasty, it was something of an aesthetic failure, so I thought I’d best work on making it prettier before giving you the how-to. to wit:


§ One Response to butternut squash soup

  • chickpea says:

    Yay, FINALLY! Although I’ve “made” this with you many times, let’s face it, you just made it while I drank wine and ate the baguette when you weren’t looking.

    Also – where can I buy heaving whipping cream? It sounds FANTASTIC. šŸ™‚

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