Sunday, September 25, 2011

Butternut (and other) Squash Soup

Ladle into your prettiest bowl and be happy.
 I know.  I know.  Everyone and her brother makes butternut squash soup in the fall.  And I do, too.  In November, I mean.  As a first course for Thanksgiving dinner.  That soup holds roasted pears and apples, bits of flyingly fragrant ginger and garlic, and is served with a small glass of Riesling to open a beautiful meal.  It might even have a drop or two of real cream as a garnish.

But this soup is not that long-winded, almost poutingly full bowl of autumnal bounty.  This soup is a 1-2 punch meal, light but nutritious and perfect for dinner with a bit of cheese and bread.  Almost better warmed up in the microwave at work the next day. It makes use of the rest of the zucchini (geez) or yellow (summer) squash, but takes into account the winter squash you couldn't resist at the market. Freeze a bowl or two for next week and you're done and feeling rich.  Here's the drill:
Chop your veg, season, and saute in a bit of oil.

Add the butternut squash.
2 quarts of stock and bring to a boil, then simmer until veg are tender.
Puree with an immersion blender (or in food processor blender)--or not.  It's tasty chunky, too.
 Butternut (and other) Squash Soup

2T olive oil
1 cup each chopped onion and celery
1 each:  small-medium zucchini and yellow (summer) squash, diced--no need to peel
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 cloves minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper
2 T fresh thyme, divided (or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme, divided)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp ground ginger, optional
2 -3 cups chopped and peeled butternut squash
2 qts chicken or vegetable stock (plus or minus)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, optional or 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In an 8-10 qt soup pot, saute over medium-high heat onion, celery, zucchini and yellow squash, and carrot until softened.  Add garlic and season liberally with salt and pepper.  Add crushed red pepper and 1T fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme), parsley, and ginger.  Cook, stirring, another minute or two.  Stir in butternut squash and cook a few minutes, stirring.  Add broth, stir well, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are all tender--15-20 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Puree with immersion blender or food processor or blender, if desired. If too thick, add a little more stock. If too thin, set back back on stove to simmer until reduced and thickened.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with a bit of thyme and a spoonful of Greek yogurt (or a sprinkle of Parmesan) if desired.  Serve hot.

Note:  This is a lovely meal for an ill friend. Go easy on the seasonings and check about the yogurt.

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,


  1. Beautiful soup. I live on soup in the winter and I like how you've included harvest veg in here. Such a thoughtful idea to make soup for a sick friend.

  2. We live on soup in the winter, too. But, Cupcake! It's 80 today. I put my green tomatoes back out in the sun, washed rugs and hug them on the fence to dry, and am grilling out our dinner. Can't complain. October happiness to you from Alyce.


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