Butternut Squash Soup
This recipe comes from Aaron Shaw, so feel free to ping him if you have questions.
The version of the recipe described here can easily serve 6-8 people when combined with other dishes.
- Two medium-sized butternut squash, trimmed, sliced in half, and with the seeds removed.
- Two medium leeks, the white and light green parts sliced into rounds and rinsed to remove any dirt.
- One medium yellow onion, sliced.
- Three or four medium-sized cloves of garlic, chopped.
- 4-6 cups of broth (chicken or vegetable broth is fine).
- A pinch or two of oregano
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Sour cream, creme fraiche, greek yogurt or olive oil for garnish (optional)
- A big pot that can hold a lot of soup.
- A blender or cuisinart to puree the soup.
- An oven and a big flat baking sheet or roasting pan to roast the squash.
Roast the Squash
Acquire two medium-sized butternut squash and pre-heat your oven to somewhere around 375 or 400 degrees (somewhere in the middle is usually good, but you have to know your oven). Remove the ends and slice the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff from the middle (note: you can wash and toast the seeds with a little salt for a nice snack or garnish for the soup).
Find a baking sheet that will fit all four halves of your squash cut-side down. If you like, spread some aluminum foil on the baking sheet to prevent the squash juice from sticking and burning while it cooks (the stuff can make a big mess). Spread some olive oil on the surface of the foil/pan and salt the squash lightly.
Bake the squash for approximately 45-75 minutes, until it is soft all the way through and browned around the edges (the amount of time varies a lot depending on the size and freshness of your squash). Every 20 minutes or so, you should check for burnt spots or uneven cooking. If necessary, you can cover part of the squash with some additional foil or rotate the pan to avoid bad burns. Some caramelization around the edges is a good thing.
Once the squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 or 30 minutes. Once it's cool enough to handle, remove the skin and set the delicious roasted flesh aside. If you want to make life truly easy, roast the squash a few hours or a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator.until you're ready to make the rest of the soup.
Heat a large sauce pan on medium-high and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and let them simmer for a few minutes until they start to become translucent. Add the oregano, some salt, and the garlic and simmer for another minute or two, stirring regularly to keep things from burning. Add the leeks and stir well, then allow everything to simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Once the leeks are starting to soften and everything is looking well-mixed, add the roasted squash (you might want to cut or tear the squash into chunks at this point). Stir and saute everything for another 5 minutes or so until the squash is well incorporated and heated through. Add enough broth so that it comes up to the level of the vegetables. Cover the pot and bring everything to boil. Reduce the heat and allow everything to simmer together for about 15 minutes so that the flavors integrate.
Will it blend?
In as many batches as necessary, puree the soupy vegetable mixture. After you blend the first batch, test for flavor and add salt, broth, or even a little extra olive oil as you see fit. The puree should be pretty thick, but pourable.
Once you've blended everything, return it to your pot (or some other large receptacle of your choosing) and stir well. Taste again for salt, texture and richness and adjust accordingly.
Serve & enjoy!