I just discovered how tasty butternut squash is last year, thanks to this blog. I was looking for a new "fall-ish" recipe and stumbled on a great and simple recipe for pan fried butternut squash. It was heavenly. Butternut squash - where have you been all my life??!!
A few weeks ago, we rekindled our relationship while out at dinner. A local restaurant was serving their version of butternut squash soup and I tried it. It was really good. So good that it's kind of been on my mind ever since. So today is the day I tried out a squash soup on my own - with the help of my favorite food network chef of course!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
adapted from Tyler Florence of Food Network
2 (2 pound) butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
1/4 pound amaretti cookies
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 bunch fresh sage
1 onion, sliced thin
1 11oz can of white shoe-peg corn
1 clove garlic
splash of heavy cream
4 cups chicken stock, either homemade or store-bought -use vegetable stock to make this vegetarian
Pinch of grated nutmeg - I couldn't find nutmeg at the store either so I used cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish with vegetable oil. Place squash cut side up in prepared dish. Pierce each squash half several times with toothpick or skewer. Bake until squash is tender, about 45 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, use a handheld mixer with the chopping attachment to pulse the cookies until roughly chopped. Set aside.
In a large pot, bring the olive oil up to almost smoking. Quickly cook the sage leaves until crisp. Remove and reserve the sage, and saute the sliced onion and garlic. When the squash is done cooking, using a large spoon, scrape squash into the pot; discard peel. Add 3 1/2 cups chicken stock and nutmeg and puree until smooth, add additional stock to reach desired consistency. The video for the recipe shows Tyler adding a splash of cream to his soup at the end, so I did the same, even though the printed recipe doesn't call for it. After pureeing the squash and onions, I added the corn. Stir soup over medium heat until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with crushed amaretti; garnish with sage leaves.
As noted above, I added corn to this recipe to give it a little extra "something". I also added garlic when I sauteed the onions. Some of the reviews on food network's website said the soup was lacking a little, but I thought it tasted great! It probably would have tasted even better if I wasn't in such a rush to finish it up and remembered to add the cinnamon at the end!
The only thing I wished I had for this recipe was an emulsion blender. After combining the squash, onions, garlic and broth, I had to scoop it out into my regular blender to puree. That was a real pain, since the blender could not hold the entire contents of the stock pot. I ended up blending two batches and then combining them to reheat. Well, Christmas is coming soon, right? Maybe Santa will put an emulsion blender under the tree!!