Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Total Time:
45 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • For the soup:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diced onion
  • 1/4 cup (1/4-inch) diced celery
  • 1/4 cup (1/4-inch) diced carrot
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Sea salt, preferably gray salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted coriander, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups Roasted Winter Squash recipe
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half, optional
  • To serve:
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, optional
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds, optional
  • Roasted Winter Squash:
  • About 3 pounds butternut squash (preferably 1 large squash)
  • Gray salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses
  • 2 teaspoons Toasted Spice Rub, recipe follows
  • Toasted Spice Rub:
  • 1/4 cup fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup (1-ounce) pure California chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Directions
To serve:

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and cinnamon stick and saute until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken stock and the coriander, if using, and bring to a boil. Simmer for several minutes. Stir in the squash until smooth, then simmer gently to let the flavors meld, about 10 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.

Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. (The soup can be made ahead to this point, cooled, covered, and refrigerated for several days or frozen for about 1 month. It will thicken as it cools and may need thinning with stock or water when reheating.)

Return the soup to the pan and reheat gently. Add the half-and-half, if using. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Keep warm until service.

To serve:

Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Garnish evenly, with the cheese and pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Roasted Winter Squash:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Halve lengthwise, discard the seeds, then cut into 1-inch dice. Place in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter ceases to foam and has turned a light brown, pull the pan off the heat and immediately add the sage, sugar, vinegar (stand back so as not to get splattered), molasses and toasted spice rub. Mix well and let simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes to meld the flavors.

Pour the vinegar mixture over the squash and toss well, then transfer to a heavy rimmed baking sheet or baking dish large enough to hold the squash in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast, tossing at least once, until very tender and caramelized, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle but still warm, so the liquids are runny.

Working in batches, if necessary, transfer the warm squash and all the cooking liquids to a food processor and process until smooth. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Serving suggestions: Serve the puree on its own as a side dish for roast chicken, turkey, or pork; stir into polenta just before the end of cooking; use as a stuffing for ravioli; make into a soup; or use to flavor pastina. Or omit the sage, season with ground cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg to taste, and use as a substitute for canned pumpkin in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

Variation for Smoky Butternut Squash: Cook the prepared squash on a baking sheet in a covered grill with soaked chips to give a slightly smoky taste. Substitute in any of the recipes that call for roasted squash. If cooking kabocha, acorn, or other difficult-to-peel squash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and rub the insides and cut edges with the vinegar/molasses mixture. Place on a baking sheet, cut sides up, and roast at 400 degrees F until tender. Scoop out and puree.

Yield: about 2 cups puree

Toasted Spice Rub:

Toast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a small, heavy pan over medium heat. When the fennel turns light brown, work quickly. Turn on the exhaust fan, add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Immediately turn the spice mixture out onto a plate to cool.

Put mixture into a blender with the chili powder, salt, and cinnamon and blend until the spices are evenly ground. If you have a small spice mill or a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices, grind only the fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Keep the spice mix in a glass jar in a cool, dry place, or freeze.

Chef's notes: Toasting freshens spices, releases their oils, and makes them more fragrant, as well as adding a new dimension of flavor.

Taste your chili powder before adding and, if spicy and hot, cut back the amount. California chilies are almost sweet, not hot.

Yield: about 1 cup


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Pairs Well With
Sauvignon Blanc

Acidic, refreshing white wine

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4.5 86
EXCELLENT SOUP! It was a hit with our guests!!!! It is not an easy soup to make. It is time consuming peeling the butternut, cutting, plus toasting seeds (A MUST). Chopping up celery onions etc.Prep time is way more than 20 minutes.. cook time is more than 25 minutes (45-60 minutes to roast the butternut alone). This is a 3 stage receipe. MAke the rub, roast the butternut and make the soup with roasted squash. THE VIDEO HELPED A WHOLE LOT!!!!! THANK YOU. THIS IS A MAIN STAPLE AT OUR HOME FOREVER!!!!! I MADE IT ACCORDING TO MICHAEL'S INTRSTUCTIONS NO SUBSTITUTIONS AND INCLUDED ALL THE INGREDIENTS!! EXCEPTIONAL! item not reviewed by moderator and published
SO Tasty! I cut up a few Butternut squash at a time and either freeze after going through the roasting or before to expedite the process. This has been a stable at my Thanksgiving dinners and at other events - it's out of the usual apple-y squash soup or the heavy cream squash soups that can tend toward bland, and always garners rave reviews. I have used the spice rub for roasted acorn squash that I stuff with a mix of rice, sauteed spin, sauteed mushrooms, walnuts or pine nuts and craisins for a main course. I have yet to make these into a ravioli, but plan to try that. One of the best selling points to me is that it has no heavy cream - great for your vegetarian friends, socially conscious friends and for your cholesterol! May you and yours enjoy it as much as me and mine! Salute! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Well worth the effort. I used coconut milk as did a few others and it is awesome. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best soup ever. It's a lot of work, but everyone who's had it has asked me to make over and over again. Toasting the spices really does make a difference. Delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Use coconut milk instead, grated ginger root, scotch bonnet pepper, (but do NOT let it burst some curry powder (1 tsp and what a much better recipe! We roast the squash cut in half, in a large pan of water, covered with foil. I cannot keep this soup for even a day. They just keep drinking this luscious, autumn delight! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish absolutely embodies the spirit of autumn! I double this batch and freeze the leftovers in glass jars that seem to accumulate in my home. Hey, it's my version of recycling! To thin the soup out I use a chicken or vegetable stock. PLEASE for the love of flavor DO NOT thin out with water !! I normally pull out the sourdough or french bread and grill up some fontina and prosciutto sandwiches to accompany this delicious fall concoction. No complaints, yet! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow! I made this recipe (without any dairy and it came out the best I have ever made. It even looked like the picture (the Vitamix helped a lot. I am sooo happy that this recipe was easy enough and tasty enough....I was licking the bowl!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make this one several times during the fall. When butternut squash gets cheap, this is my go-to recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my "go-to" butternut squash soup recipe. It is so different than other butternut squash soup recipes. I love the sweet/spicy flavor. If I'm lucky, I can find peeled and cubed butternut squash in the grocery store...BONUS! But a squash is easy to peel and cube. A simple potato peeler works well and to cut and cube it I use a cleaver and once the cleaver is imbedded into the squash (the 1st stroke I lift the knife to about shoulder height (with the squash attached and pound the squash onto the cutting board. A few quick whacks and it is halved. It's easy, noisy, and also reduces your agression! I can just imagine myself eating this soup at Michael's vineyard. Thanks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is by far... not an ' Easy ' level recipe. Prep time was short of 2 hours. It was Scrumptious, a HiT!!!!!! However a bit too hot so I balanced out the ' spicy/hot ' without sacrificing the integrity of the recipe. Cutting the Butternut was challenge and a half!!! Is there any way to cut the butternut preping time ? Can it be semi roasted first then peeled and cut..? Peeling was easy although the Butternut was slippery. . Again.. is there a way to semi roast the butternut, then peel and cut and continue with the recipe.? THIS WAS SOOOO DELICIOUS! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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