Wednesday, December 1, 2010

butternut squash soup with caramelized onions


I had to check and double check that I hadn’t posted this recipe before. It was one of my favorite soups from last winter, and perfect for a chilly weekend when we needed something light and warm after all of our Thanksgiving feast-ivities.

Based on Ina Garten’s Butternut Squash and Apple Soup recipe, the final product is creamy with a little texture in it, a sweet and savory tug-of-war match of round flavors on your tastebuds. And if you’re like me, you’ll be very liberal with your black pepper grinder for just a bit of bite.

Shall we begin? Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

For 2-4 people, peel and chop one butternut squash and one apple in same-size cubes.  Honeycrisp, Gala, Granny Smith, whatever is fresh and tastes good to you. Your cuts don’t have to be perfect, but keep them about the same size and shape. My advice to you is use a really sharp knife because all kinds of squash can be tricky to chop. And make sure you get all the core and seeds from the apple! Mix them with olive oil, salt, and pepper until the pieces are well coated. Then spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and cook for about 20-25 minutes, turning once in the middle. This is standard practice for roasting veggies, and in my opinion, roasting really brings out the optimal flavor.


While your stars of the show roast, heat up a pot that’s wide on the bottom but still tall enough to hold your soup. Peel and thinly slice an onion (mince for less texture) and sauté in about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter on medium-high heat until glossy. Make sure to feed the onions a pinch of salt to help release their natural sugars. Turn down your heat to medium or medium low (watch it carefully) and cook them low and slow until start to brown. I think following Rachael Ray’s method of adding sugar first would work nicely, too.


I, however, bypassed the sugar for a drizzle of pure maple syrup. YOM! Stir about a tablespoon in with your already softened onions and let them keep cooking. It’s almost time for the soup to come together.


Put your newly roasted goodies in a food processor or blender and pour in enough chicken or veggie broth to almost cover them. They’re about to become something delicious. Give your mix a spin until it’s finely pureed. Pour it into the pot with the onions and give it a stir. At this point, add some broth or water to get the soup to your perfect consistency.


Now’s time to spice it up. Add about a tablespoon of curry powder and salt and pepper to taste. We love lots of black pepper in just about everything. In my version of heaven, black pepper and chocolate will go together perfectly. If you’re iffy about curry powder, don’t be. I, too, once thought curry powder was sketchy, but bought this little jar for this very recipe and didn’t regret it one bit!

At this point your soup is almost finished! Since your veggies were cooked in the oven, you just need to make sure it’s heated through and stays your preferred consistency. Something completely optional, however:


Just a little drink of cream. I don’t even keep it in the house normally, but I think I’m turning over a new leaf. A new leaf that could be very dangerous. It’s not even absolutely necessary with the starchy goodness of pureed butternut squash, sweet apple and onions, and savory curry. But a little drizzle here and there never hurt anyone, really.


Soup’s on!

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to try this soon! I just bought some Curry Powder a few weeks ago.


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