This is my absolute favorite soup recipe and one that I really want to share with my Peanut Butter and Julie readers. I make it year-round, but it is especially good in the fall, when butternut squash is in season. I like it because it is healthy and filling, it is easy to make ahead of time in large batches, and it lasts for over a week in the refrigerator when stored properly. You can freeze it, but I honestly think that it compromises the flavor a little bit. This would be a great recipe for a light supper the night before Thanksgiving, accompanied by some great crusty bread, or with leftovers for lunch the days following (those people who are wary of your latest "leftover turkey surprise" will thank you!). A few tips:
- This recipe calls for an immersion or a "stick" blender (see picture below). If you don't have one of these, you can always puree the soup in batches in a regular blender or food processor. However, I will tell you that my immersion blender was one of the best small investments that I made for my kitchen. I think that my little Braun model cost less than $20, and I have used it countless times for soups, sauces, purees, gravy, etc. It is significantly easier to clean up after than a blender or food processor, not to mention the fact that it is darn fun to use. Hey, if you don't have one, the holidays are approaching, so add it to your wish list. You won't be sorry!
- Make sure that you have some large Tupperware-style containers on hand to transfer the soup to--this recipe makes quite a bit.
- DO NOT FORGET to remove the cinnamon sticks prior to blending. It is not fun to have to strain the soup due to there being hundreds of tiny pieces of cinnamon bark floating throughout. Trust me, I speak from experience!
- Covering the squash with foil after taking it out of the oven helps to steam it, thus releasing it from the skins--little trick I discovered.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
2 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 cinnamon sticks
5-6 cups chicken broth
Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place squash, lightly oiled sides cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake until squash is very soft, about 40-50 minutes. Cover the squash on the baking sheet with foil and set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the filling out of the squash; discard peel. Cut the squash into 2-inch pieces. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Mix in the onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and cinnamon sticks. Cover the pot and cook until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add the squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon.
Puree the soup with an immersion or stick blender. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve.