Butternut Squash Soup
Allegedly, there is a hurricane coming. My husband was out yesterday at a variety of stores, buying sufficient supplies so we are adequately prepared for Frankenstorm. I, living in denial, was making soup, a delicious and quite Halloweenie Butternut Squash Soup. Yet something in me was planning ahead, because I was insistent on making as much butternut squash soup as my 7 1/4 quart La Creuset pot could hold. I mean, who serves butternut squash soup to 4? Admittedly, I was bringing a huge pot of this orange delight into the city for an afternoon Halloween party, where it would be scooped into paper cups and eaten by adults and kids alike.
A few words about this soup. First, as I think I mentioned, you need a big pot (5.5 quarts at least, 7 quarts or bigger if you have it) because this is butternut squash soup made for a crowd. Think afternoon outdoor party or tailgate or Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd.
Two, this soup did get served to kids, but it does have a slight kick to it. I couldn’t bring myself to serve butternut squash soup to a bunch of adults with young children without making it a tad bit savory and a little spicy. I didn’t want them to confuse the pureed concoction with baby food.
Third, you need a Cuisinart or large immersion blender for this job. And it really is a job. You have to puree it in batches, which makes for a big mess in the kitchen, or at least it made a big mess in my kitchen. So prepare yourself for that so as not to find yourself cursing under your breath in front of your children (hypothetically speaking, of course).
Finally, I am not sure who these people are that can make a butternut squash soup in 45 minutes. So many of the recipes give this time estimate. I suppose they are making it for 4 people, not 12, but I still think that it is a time underestimation. I even smartened up and bought the pre-chopped butternut squash. Cutting the squash up alone can take you 15-20 minutes. For me, my experience took me almost an hour and a half to make even with the pre-cut squash. Granted, I have two children so if you have peace and quiet and are a wiz at chopping and blending, maybe you can get it done in an hour and ten.
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- ⅛ to ¼ tsp cayenne
- 6½ lbs of butternut squash
- 9 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp fresh sage
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp cumin
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- ½ cup cream or half and half
- Sour cream (optional)
- Toasted Pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Parmesan (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven, melt butter in pan.
- Once butter is sizzling, add onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Saute for about 8 minutes until onion became translucent.
- Sprinkle cayenne and mix throughout the vegetable mixture.
- Add butternut squash to the pot along with stock. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add sage, thyme and cumin.
- Let simmer for approximately 20 minutes until squash is tender.
- Remove from heat and use immersion blender or Cuisinart to blend to a puree in batches.
- Return to pot and serve plan or with a mixture of sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and/or parmesan.