Tuesday, November 17, 2009
One of the first things I do every fall is wait for the butternut squash to show up in the grocery store. Its arrival truly signals the beginning of the holiday season; it cues the comforting smells of cinnamon in my house; it means soup season is in full swing. And, oh, what a soup this is.
Brad took me to a great dinner last Valentine's Day, and our second course was a bowl of luscious, whipped butternut squash bisque. It was truly one of the best things I've ever eaten, and I've been dreaming about making it myself ever since. When my beloved squash showed up in the stores last month I knew it was time.
Every time I make soup I'm newly amazed at how simple, economical and fantastic it tastes. This butternut squash soup is no exception. If I was making it for company I'd top it with homemade croutons, spiced, toasted almond slices or perhaps a few dried apple slices and a dollop of creme fraiche. But it's also amazing in its simplest form, plain. It's as fluffy and smooth as it looks (thanks to a whiz in the blender), and it would be the perfect accompaniment to any Thanksgiving feast!
Classic Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from: Whole Foods
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium butternut squash, cubed
About 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (See note)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot and onion. Cook until carrot has started to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add butternut squash. Stir to combine with vegetables. Stir in chicken broth and season with salt and pepper.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Let the soup cool slightly and carefully puree in batches in a traditional blender.
Note: Original recipe calls for 4 to 6 cups of chicken broth. I wanted a thicker, creamier version so I used less. Feel free to make your soup as thick or thin as desired!