It’s that time of year when you go into the supermarket and they have squash and pumpkins all over the place. I decided I wanted to make some Butternut Squash soup for dinner last night. I bought a medium-sized squash. I should have got some carrots as well because they would have added some additional sweetness, but I didn’t.
I read several recipes for the soup and most of them entailed cutting up the squash into cubes. But I also read somewhere that you just want to quarter them, leaving the skin on and the seeds inside, which makes them tastier and really easy to clean. I just brushed them with olive oil, and heavily salted and peppered them and roasted them in a 425 degree oven for 1 hour.
Somewhere else, I read that you can saute sage in butter, then remove the sage when it is crispy and use the now-browned butter to cook your aromatics, which I did. I used two stalks of celery and 1/2 of an onion, roughly chopped because I knew I was going to stick-blend them later. (Here is where you would want to add say one carrot roughly chopped, which I did not.) I also added about a teaspoon of red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. After the onions and celery were softened, I added 4 or 5 cups of Unsalted Chicken Stock and let that simmer for a while, then I scooped out the flesh of the squash and added that. I mashed the squash down a bit and tasted for salt and pepper. I had everything in a high-sided enamel pot we always use for mashed potatoes and things we want to blend. (Don’t want to mess up your nice Calphalon or All-Clad pots doing this.) I blended everything with the stick-blender until it was completely smooth. Here is where you want to eye-ball the consistency, I added a bit more stock and about a cup of heavy cream and once again tasted for salt and pepper. Finally I added the reserved crispy sage and buzzed that in. That was it… ready to serve. I made up some Crème Fraîche by mixing 3 parts heavy cream with 1 part buttermilk drizzled that over the top of the soup when serving. It made just enough for the two of us to have two bowls each.
Note: You can use a blender but please be careful; Both the now hot air above the liquid plus the expanding liquid can force the lid off the container. In order to be safe, it is recommended when you blend hot liquids that you never fill the jar more than half full, that you put the lid on and then cover it with a dry towel and hold it down by hand.
1 medium butternut squash
fresh ground black pepper
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1/2 of a large onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, skin on, roughly chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
7 or 8 fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cups (more or less) Unsalted Chicken Stock
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon buttermilk