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Butternut Squash Soup

Have I mentioned lately how much I love having a dishwasher?  It makes it so easy to clean a kitchen (especially a small one like mine)–and clean kitchen basically means clean house, in my opinion.

Anyway.  Fritz and I just got back from New Orleans and man, oh, man, did I eat a lot.  I ate beignets no less than three times from Cafe du Monde, went to a spectacular dinner at Commander’s Palace (ate turtle soup, prawns, and shrimp and goat cheese grits), took a cooking class, and even grabbed a po’boy to eat in the airport on the way out.

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Basically Fritz had to drag me kicking and screaming out of the French Quarter.

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Not to mention drinking our way down Bourbon street (and yes…this is the only picture of us together from the trip).

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I already made the jambalaya from our trip (had to keep the memory fresh), and you can bet I’ll be sharing quite a few New Orlean’s inspired recipes in the near future.

But before that happens, let just get this first winter soup off my external hard drive.

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup (adapted from The Culinary Institute of America Book of Soups)

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 roasted medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed (3-4 C)
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1 small white potato, peeled and diced
  • salt and ground white pepper to taste

You can skip this first step, and simply add cubed raw butternut squash to the soup pot and let it cook.  I like to roast the squash ahead of time, let the flavors get sweeter and deeper, and add the cooked squash to the soup.  I also hate peeling and cubing uncooked butternut squash.

To cook the squash, slice in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds out.  Lay face down on a baking dish and add a cup of water.  Roast at 350 degrees until easily pierced by a knife.  After the squash cools a bit, it’s easy to peel and cube the squash.

Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and ginger until tender.  Add the diced potato, broth, and squash, and cook until the potato is tender.

Using a stick blender (or in batches, blend in a blender with the vent in the cap open), puree the soup until smooth.

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Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

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This is a classic smooth and comforting autumn soup.  The ginger gives a little spicy kick, and the white pepper adds the most warming heat without distracting from the squash flavor (I firmly believe that white pepper is highly underrated).

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Though this soup doesn’t have any rich cream or sour cream added, it’s not lacking at all in heartiness.  You may want to serve it with some thick bread or crackers to help give it a little more staying power for a few hours later, though.

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Feel free to substitute pumpkin or acorn squash (or use a combination) if that’s what you have on hand.

And definitely keep the soup away from cats!

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6 comments

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  1. hnaczi

    Soup looks great! Can’t wait to see your N.O. recipe inspirations – I LOVE cajun food! Such a perfect blend of everything I love – seafood, spices, flavor, veggies, butter, cream…Mmmm I also noticed your new photo with Fritz :-) Nice touch.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Thanks–thought it was about time I updated! Also, not sure if I’ll talk about this, but I learned there’s a difference between Cajun and Creole food (turns out I like both…surprise, surprise!). :)

      1. hnaczi

        Oh no…now I don’t know which I like. What’s Etouffe? I’m guessing cajun?

    2. Lauren Zietsman

      also, I started updating my reading list for you!

  2. Leah Ferguson

    And now you have me wondering how I can sneak my husband away for a long weekend without the kids noticing, if only for the beignets…

  3. Mēnessmeitēns

    Thank you for the recipie, I will try it tomorrow! :)