Fall is upon us and that means a lot more hearty soups appear on menus in restaurants. For the amateur cook, making soups at home is a fairly easy (and often, very rewarding) process. There is some work involved, but generally soup recipes are not very complex.
Over the next few days, I will post several of my favorite fall/winter soup recipes. They usually involve roasting some sort of vegetable, putting everything in a big pot and using a hand blender to get the soup nice & smooth. I try not to use cream in my soups, even soups that have the name “Creamy” in the title.
If you don’t have one, you should purchase a hand blender, also known as an immersion blender or stick blender. You can get a decent hand blender for under $30 on Amazon and get it delivered in two days. No need to get a top of the line model, the basic hand blender will serve you well.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup w/Ginger
There are many versions of Butternut Squash Soup. I like this one (and most of the soups I prepare) because no cream is added. The hearty nature of the soup comes from breaking down the fleshy part of the squash, as well as the other solid ingredients. You really don’t need to add cream to make a creamy soup. Serves 6.
- 2 butternut squash (about 4-5 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeded
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Salt & Pepper (for seasoning the squash prior to roasting)
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 cups (or more) canned chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Oil a baking sheet. After seeding the squash, salt and pepper the cut side including the hollowed out part
- Place squash, cut side down, on baking sheet.
- Roast until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven. Let the squash cool so you can handle without burning yourself.
- Heat more oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon stick. Cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes.
- When the squash has cooled, remove peel from squash and discard the peel. Cut squash into 2-inch pieces.
- Add the squash and 5 cups chicken broth to the onion mix.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick.
- Using your immersion blender, purée soup. Make sure you point the blade of the blender down or away from you. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. But be careful working with very hot liquid. Puree in batches in a regular blender)
- Season soup with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer, thinning soup with more broth or water if necessary.
- Serve in bowls and sprinkle with parsley to garnish.
There are lots of variations, such as adding curry powder, orange juice, sweet potato, acorn squash, etc. Be imaginative and make this wonderful fall soup your own.