October 10, 2018 10:38:34 AM
This simple butternut squash soup is little more than squash, cooking liquid, and a few aromatic ingredients; it comes together easily yet is creamy and deeply flavorful.
Many squash soups fail to live up to their potential, often ending up too sweet or with too little squash flavor. We got the most flavor out of our squash by sauteing a shallot in butter with the reserved squash seeds and fibers, simmering the mixture in water, and then using the flavorful liquid to steam the unpeeled squash. This method gave us doubly flavorful, tender squash with the added bonus of avoiding the difficult task of peeling raw squash.
To complete our soup, we scooped out the cooked squash from its skin and then pureed it with some of the strained steaming liquid for a perfectly smooth texture. Some heavy cream added richness, and a little brown sugar and nutmeg balanced the squash's earthy flavor.
CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Start to finish: 1 hour, 30 minutes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large shallot, chopped
3 pounds butternut squash, quartered and seeded, with fibers and seeds reserved
6 cups water
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
Pinch ground nutmeg
n Stir in water and 1 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, place squash cut side down in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot. Cover and steam squash until completely tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Makes 3 cups
6 slices hearty white sandwich bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Nutrition information per serving: 220 calories; 128 calories from fat; 14 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 45 mg cholesterol; 210 mg sodium; 24 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 3 g protein.