Behind the Apron: Butternut Squash Soup

You know those fancy soups that you only order at a restaurant? The ones that you think you should splurge on because surely you can’t recreate it in your own home? I feel that way about seafood bisque, and anything with that beautiful creamy texture (see also: fat content). But thanks again to AllRecipes, a friendly farmer and a Cuisinart immersion blender – I’ve got a steaming pot of Butternut Squash soup.

immersion blender cuisinart

image courtesy of wayfair.com

I didn’t fully appreciate the immersion blender in our Spanish apartment until I came home and got on the smoothie train. While my small food processor is a champ for homemade pesto, hummus, and the occasional morning protein shake, the idea of using it to turn small batches of hot vegetables into soup sounds like a very bad idea. Enter: Cuisinart® Smart Stick® Hand Blender. You know I don’t typically push products, so this is serious. If you make soups or smoothies and you’re tired of cleaning the blender, you will want to consider this purchase. Try Kohls, use a coupon (because you know I don’t pay full price, either).

The friendly farmer appeared at the Dane County Farmer’s Market in Madison just last week. Through the long stretch of vendors standing around their tables laden with cheese, bread and vegetables, I reached for a butternut squash and was shocked at the weight of it. The farmer laughed while I hefted it from left hand to right, and I confessed, “I’m a newbie, what do I need to know about cooking this?”

butternut squash soup recipe

The end result of all this is a relatively simple and somewhat time-consuming soup, adapted from another AllRecipes genius. I made some edits based on personal preference and other reviewer’s suggestions:
* Roasting the squash. I cut the squash lengthwise and scooped out the guts (the closest I got to carving a pumpkin this year). Placing it cut-side down in a glass dish @ 375 F for 45 minutes softens it up enough to cut up for soup. I also tossed in slices of a Gala apple with about 15 minutes to go. Next time, two apples.
* I would have preferred a cup of apple cider to cut the water, but couldn’t find any at the store (yes, really). Instead I used 1C homemade vegetable stock, 1 chicken bouillon cube and 2C water. Had no marjoram, so I used pumpkin pie spice. I topped with cinnamon before serving and the sweet and savory went well together. Side note, I found apple cider a few days later and added 1/2 C when I defrosted it = delicious.
* Only 4 oz of cream cheese – still incredibly rich with 1/4 the amount the recipe calls for. And duh, butter, not margarine.

Get some crusty bread and get your soup on!

Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-squash-soup/detail.aspx

Butternut Squash Soup
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Mary
Photo By: mominml
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 6
“Cream cheese is blended into this pureed soup of winter squash and onion which have been cooked in a seasoned chicken stock.”
Ingredients:
6 tablespoons chopped onion
4 tablespoons margarine
6 cups peeled and cubed butternut
squash
3 cups water
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
Directions:
1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; cook 20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
2. Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.
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