Monday, November 10, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup Ba-By!

Do you love butternut squash but hate trying to peel that sucker? Have I got a product for you!

Costco has already peeled and cubed butternut squash in their super-sized fridge for a little under 6 bucks. For your hard-earned money you will receive two pounds of squash in 1" to 2" cubes. Me? I'm going to make some soup. Here's an easy recipe for you to try:

  • 2 pounds peeled and cubed Butternut Squash
  • 2 tablespoons Butter, unsalted please
  • 1 large bunch of leeks, white part only, sliced and washed really well
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Thyme
  • 4 to 6 cups Good Quality Chicken Broth (I like the Swanson organic or the organic stuff you get at Costco)
  • salt & pepper
  • heavy cream (optional)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt your butter and saute your leeks until tender, about 5 or 6 minutes. Add your squash and apple and turn the heat up a little bit to medium-high. Saute for another 5 or 6 minutes, just to coax out a little more flavor. Add 4 cups of chicken broth, about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the dried thyme (be sure to crush it in your palm so that you get the most flavor from it). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for half an hour or until your squash is really, really tender.

Once everything is soft and starting to smell good, pull out your blender. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle some into the blender. Remove the center of the blender lid (see, it comes out for a reason!) and put the lid back on the blender. Cover with a towel and process until smooth. Repeat until you've got all of the soup blended. If the soup looks a little thick, and it may depending on your taste, you can add chicken broth until it's the thickness you like. If you want to enrich your soup and make it feel a little more velvety, go ahead and add up to 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Mmmmmmm. Delicious! Salt and pepper to taste and you are good to go.

By the way, this soup also freezes great. Just be sure that you don't cover it or put it into the freezer when it's hot. If you do that, two things may happen: you'll force water into your soup from the condensation that forms and/or the center will stay hot and keep your food in the food safety "danger zone". You don't want to get sick, so never put anything hot into your freezer.

It seems like good soup weather to me, so give it a try and let me know what you think. Feel free to get a little funky with it too (a little curry powder, or maybe a little sage?). What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I have a very similar recipe that calls for coriander rather than thyme, but butternut squash goes well with nearly any spice I find.

Chef Christine said...

I love that! What if you toasted some pepitas (pumpkin seeds -- you can get them at The Common Market in the bulk section)and through those in too? That could give you a little "south of the border" flavor!