1 STF: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


My family never ate squash. I mean NEVER. I came to the conclusion that squash must be awful then. I was wrong! I started experimenting with it years ago when I found out that it is a powerful cancer fighter and a super food. I knew I just had to add it it to my cooking repertoire and this is my favourite way to make it.

When my cupboards and fridge were bare last week, one thing I missed most was vegetables. It was decadent to live on noodles and bits of protein for a while but I quickly felt my energy disappearing. The beautiful thing about soup is it is so pure. You just throw veggies into a pot with some broth and herbs and you have the essence of health.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

It all starts with the squash. I like butternut squash because of its bright orange colour. Colour in the health food world means vitality. The more colours you eat, the healthier you are. I prefer to slow roast the squash because that way I only have to cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. I do not have to peel it raw and precariously slice the tough flesh into chunks. Nope! I just slice in half, remove the seeds, put it flesh-side-down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 275F oven for two hours. I do this early in the day and then take it out once it is soft to the touch.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

A processor makes my life so much easier by whizzing up 2 roughly chopped carrots, 3 celery sticks with their leaves on, one onion and 3 garlic cloves. I even did this on the phone with my friend Michelle in a matter of seconds and then put the aromatics into a dish covered with plastic wrap and into the fridge until I was ready to make soup.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

When ready to cook saute the mirepoix (carrot, celery...) over medium high heat in some olive oil and season well. After a few minutes scoop out the squash, add to the pot with some grated ginger and two bay leaves. Use a spoon or a spatula to break down the squash a bit. Add a little broth to just cover the bottom and come up the sides a bit. Be careful not to add too much because you want the soup to be too thick rather than too thin. Let it bubble away for at least 15 minutes. I also threw in some thyme sprigs which I removed along with the bay leaves once everything was softened.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is usually where my handy-dandy Food Mill makes my life easier by grinding up the veggies to make a silky smooth soup but I forgot to change blades to the medium consistency setting and what ended up coming through the other end was just liquid! Argh! Oh well, stuff like this happens. Now too hot to the touch to change blades, I put the soup back in the pot and used my immersion blender. Nope, not good enough. I like it to be perfectly smooth and it was still chunky. I removed the strawberry mango smoothie mixture from my blender into our dinner glasses, washed out the blender and used it to perfectly puree the soup, carefully covered with a tea towel. Then I added just a touch of heavy cream and pureed once again.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Vegetarians can skip this part but I wanted a little topper for the soup so I cut some turkey bacon into lardons and sauteed until crispy. If you are vegetarian and want a topper you can make some homemade croutons. For those meat eaters who want to use REAL bacon, go right ahead! It is your food. Make it your way!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

In some ways this is a fast recipe, in other ways it is slow. I like that you can prepare all the veggies ahead of time which is what I did when my mother-in-law Lorraine came for tea. She is a huge lover of vegetables and always is the person making food for others. I had already roasted the squash and processed the veggies so we came home and in about 20 minutes I had this treat ready for her that tasted like it took me all day to make. The best part? She looked so happy as she spooned every last drop.

Although it does not feel like it, spring is around the corner and I will be replacing soups and roasted vegetables with salads. In the meantime, I am going to make as many soups as I can and enjoy their beautiful healthy essence.

18 comments:

leel said...

beautiful soup! squash is a fave of mine yet not a soup i have ever made myself. good call suzie! i will bookmark this one for later :)

i love how similar our palates are! yum!

Ken Bowie said...

Before you roast the Squash...drizzle it with a bit of Maple Syrup (must be real)..sprinkle with a bit of Brown Sugar...then Season...yummo!!

-bcgw. said...

Oh, weak in the knees...I LOVE butter squash soup. I love adding liquid smoke and ham to mine ;]

TheSweetOne said...

I LOOOOVE butternut squash - in soup, in ravioli with sage and butter sauce.. hmmm time to make pasta again.

I know the last recipe I suggested was a bomb, but if you're up for trying another warm, comfort food soup, Baked Potato Soup is divine (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1654706)

And no worries. If you don't like it, tell me!! I think I'll try it with chicken stock instead of milk...

Tammy said...

I love squash. My husband doesn't. I experimented some last summer with squashes from our local farms. He wound up really liking spaghetti squash, but butternut... not so much.

I think he might enjoy this soup though. I've made a pumpkin soup that he did like, so I think I'll have to try this.

I don't have a food mill. Will an immersion blender do the trick?

AvaDJ said...

Funny, we never ate squash growing up either, it wasn't until I started cooking for myself that I found out what I was missing. I take the lazy route though, our supermarket sells it peeled and cut into chunks already. Your soup looks so healthy and so divine! YUM.

Suzie Ridler said...

TheSweetOne, I love the look of that soup, I have never had Baked Potato Soup, absolutely right up my food alley so thank you! I think I will try this one and thanks for not being upset with me. :)

Tammy, yes, you can use an immersion blender but I really recommend pureeing the heck out of the mirepoix ahead of time if you want that creamy consistency, the carrots take the longest to cook down so it may require longer cooking but I think you can do it. I was impatient, LOL.

tournesol said...

Yum! I love butternut squash soup, one of my favorites. Will have to make some soon. Your's looks lovely and creamy.

Karen D said...

this looks so good and color is amazing. I love butternut squash soup and I will definetly give this recipe a go.

the new Mrs. C said...

That looks so good, I may have to try it this weekend, as it's still cold enough for soup in my part of the world.I've tried a butternut squash/pumpkin soup before, but will certainly give yours a try.
And, funny, growing up we never ate squash either.

Katerina said...

Your soup is beautiful! DO you find there is an advantage in roasting the squash for so long? I usually do it for an hour at 350F.

Stella said...

Your soup looks great! I always make butternut squash soup when butternut is in season, but I don't roast it. I just saute it with the mirepoix for a while on low heat. I will try it this way though-sounds very good. I like the way you used your food processor. I really need to pull mine out and start doing that (good tip).

Suzie Ridler said...

Katerina, I roast it long and slow on low heat to avoid the caramelization that can happen to the squash which I do not like so I need an additional hour to make sure the squash is cooked through. I also like cooking something I can forget about and not worry about burning. So many times I have taken it out and it isn't cooked through, drives me nuts! I like the roasted flavour that comes with this method and it just makes my life easier.

Renee said...

You said: "When ready to cook saute the mirepoix (carrot, celery...) over medium high heat in some olive oil and season well". Season well with what?

Suzie Ridler said...

Just salt and pepper Renee!

Missel's said...

This has got to be the best butternut squash soup ever!! Made it tonight and served it with crescent rolls. Thanks for a wonderful healthy soup.

Suzie Ridler said...

Missel's, thank you! That feedback is why I do what I do and keeps me going!

Angie said...

Whoa! thanks for the tip about roasting before cutting!! I love butternut squash soup so I think I'm going to try this one out. MMMMMMM soup.