Winter Squash Soup

I love squash. Squash. Squash. Squash.

Squash are like people: hard on the outside, soft on the inside, and come in all sorts of wacky, wild shapes, sizes and colors (not to mention, a bit tricky to peel).

Seriously.

If this doesn’t make you believe in aliens, I don’t know what to tell you:

Yugoslavian Finger Squash. It’s no freaking joke. I’m hoping Sigourney Weaver shows up in my kitchen to protect me.

And, of course, the darling of the food world, the ever-so-curvy Butternut:

There are about a gazillion ways to use these lovelies – I’m seriously falling over myself with excitement to try this one

In addition to being charming and delicious, squash/gourds pack a powerful nutritional punch. Super high in Vitamin A (seriously, like 457% of your recommended daily value in one cup of this stuff), it also provides Vitamin C, B Complex and potassium.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy squash (besides just tossing it in the oven with some olive oil, S&P) is in this Winter Squash Soup recipe (TIP: call it “bisque” instead of soup if you’re jonesing to impress your neighbors or in-laws). Smooth, creamy, rich, and the perfect sweet/savory balance. It’s subtle enough for a first course, but hearty enough for a main – the perfect autumn bisque. Toss on these Gruyere croutons, and you’re in for a big ole’ kiss of fall goodness. Yum.

Winter Squash Soup Bisque

Servings: 6 (1st course), 4 (main course)      Time: 30-50 mins (depending on if you roast the squash)

Ingredients

Soup

  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups squash (acorn, butternut or a mix work best), peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 in pieces
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup cream (plus more for topping)

Croutons

  • 2 tbs butter
  • 24 1/4-in-thick baguette/sourdough bread slices
  • 1 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp minced fresh sage

Directions

For Soup:

  • Preheat oven to 400. Spread chopped squash on large baking sheet – toss in olive oil – season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast squash in oven for 25 minutes – stirring halfway through. (Roasting the squash is optional – skip this step if you’re pressed for time. I like the extra flavor element it adds).
  • While the squash roasts, melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic – sauté until tender.
  • Add squash, broth and herbs to onions/garlic. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender – about 10 minutes (20 mins if you skipped the roasting step).
  • Using an immersion blender (or can be done in batches in a blender or food processor), blend soup until entirely smooth. Stir cream into soup.
  • Add additional broth if soup is too thick.

For Croutons:

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Melt butter and toss bread in melted butter.
  • Arrange bread in a single layer on large baking sheet. Broil for one minute (or until golden brown).
  • Toss and cover with grated cheese and herbs – salt and pepper to taste.
  • Return to broiler until cheese melts.

Optional Toppings:

  • Fresh cream
  • Sliced green onions
  • Pepper
  • Diced white onions

Happy Fall!!

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