While fans of the Pumpkin Spice Latte might disagree, to me, nothing says “Fall is here” like butternut squash soup. It’s sweet but savory, and hearty enough that it makes a nice meal when served with a crusty piece of french bread. Pair it with a grilled cheese when there’s really a chill in the air and enjoy the Fall season before we’re all complaining about the bitterly cold winter. Maybe I’m just still in shock from the deep freeze that was last year. Brr!
Besides the patience required to sit idly by while smelling the delicious vegetables as they roast slowly in the oven, the soup recipe is very simple. Cut up the squash and place cut side up in a baking sheet, brushed with oil and sprinkled with thyme. Cut the tops off two onions and a head of garlic and do the same. Cover both with foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for at least two hours. My squash roasted faster than my onions, so check frequently, as cooking time may vary. Once the veggies are cooled, peel off the skin and mash together in a large pot. Add broth and cream (I used half and half to cut down a bit on the fat) and mix with a stick blender until smooth.
As always, the full recipe follows.
Butternut Squash Soup, via Taste of Home
3 pounds unpeeled butternut squash, (about 1 large squash) halved and seeded
2 large unpeeled onions
1 small garlic bulb
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 to 3-1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1.Preheat oven to 350°. Cut squash into large pieces and place cut side up in a baking pan, brushing with oil and sprinkling with thyme.
2. Cut approximately 1/4 inch off tops of onion and garlic bulbs and place cut side up in another baking pan.
3. Cover both pans tightly with foil and bake 2+ hours or until vegetables are very tender when tested with a fork.
4. Uncover and let stand until room temperature.
5. Remove peel from squash and onions and remove garlic from skins.
6. In a large saucepan, combine squash, onions, garlic, broth and half and half. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth, then heat through (without boiling the soup). Stir in parsley and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional parsley and/or thyme.