Butternut Squash Soup
When it’s snowy and cold what do you crave the most? For me, it’s homemade soup. I was lucky to have a grown up with my Memere (grandmother) who made everything from scratch. While Memere cooked, she would teach me all her secrets on how to make the best soup. When I was growing up, we could always count on her to have homemade soup and bread for us at her house. Fast forward to 2016, with today’s lifestyle it’s not as common to see that bubbling pot of homemade soup on the stove. However, I’ve found that making a homemade soup doesn’t have to be complicated.
The beauty of homemade soup is that you are in control of the ingredients. The amount of salt, spices and vegetables you use are up to you as you make the broth. You can also choose to make it vegetarian or not. I’ve found that many of the commercially canned or frozen soups contain MSG, and other additives that make the soups high in sodium content.
My favorite soup recipe is easy to make and delicious to taste. It is a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. When in season, I buy my squash from local farmers that I know don’t use chemicals on their plants. This way my soup is already starting off “clean”. Although butternut squash can be messy to work with, I have some easy solutions to make this less of a pain. For a batch of soup to serve approximately 8 people, you will need about 3-4 lbs. of squash. If you have Delicata or Acorn squash, you can add this to the pan also.
First, slice the squash in half and remove the seeds and membranes. Next, slice the squash into strips and don’t peel. Place on a cookie sheet and brush olive oil over the slices. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle coarse salt (not too much), pepper and rosemary over the squash. Add a sliced medium onion to the pan. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan and make sure that the squash doesn’t begin to burn. It can brown around the edges but you should not let it burn.
Remove the pan from the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes and then peel the skin off of the squash pieces. Working in two batches, add the squash- onion mixture to a food processor and begin processing. You will need to add some vegetable broth to the squash mixture, as it will get very thick. Pour the squash mixture into a large soup pot.
Add in 6 cups of vegetable broth to the squash and stir. Begin to heat up the soup. Let it simmer for 45 minutes. At this point, add more broth if you need to thin the soup or any other spices. It may need a little more pepper and thyme. Sometimes I add a sprinkle of nutmeg too. I like to add 1/4 cup of room temperature half and half to the soup just to add to the flavor. If you are Vegan, you can skip this part. I would not suggest adding soy to the soup. My experience was that it curdled as the soup got hot. There is no flour or thickener added to the soup so this is great for those who are Gluten Free.
This soup just what you need to warm you up at this time of year!