Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche

If you are just looking for roasted squash you could prepare this recipe though step one and serve it up as is (you should consider tossing[ the squash with a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar along with the butter, salt and pepper). But here the roasted squash then gets pureed with sauteed shallots and some broth, and finished with a bit of cream and a gorgeous swirl of creamy, tangy creme fraiche (available in your dairy aisle or the cheese section of the supermarket), plus some (optional) bits of crispy bacon. So simple, and really quite fabulous. You could definitely add a pinch of nutmeg, or perhaps a bit of cumin and chili powder, or some fresh or dried sage if you are looking for another layer of flavor.]

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
Prep:
35 min
Cook:
40 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (see Cook's Note)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 thick-cut strips bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche for serving
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle over the melted butter, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet, allowing space in between the cubes when possible. Roast until tender and lightly browned on the bottom, about 25 minutes.

  • Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until the shallots have softened and turned a light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.

  • Meanwhile, if using bacon, heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the bacon pieces. Saute until they are cooked and crisp, then transfer them with a slotted spoon to some paper towels to drain.

  • Add the cooked butternut squash to the simmering broth. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor (alternately you can run the mixture through a food mill, which offers a great kind of nubby texture, or puree right in the pot with an immersion blender). Return the pureed soup to the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

  • Add the cream and heat just until warmed through. Place the creme fraiche in a small bowl and stir with a fork make it very soft and creamy. Ladle the soup into bowls, swirl in a tablespoon of the creme fraiche, and sprinkle with some crisped bacon, if using.

Cook's Note: You can also use chopped onions; just bump up the amount to about 3/4 cup.


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