A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup

We bought some winter squash at that Hendersonville farm stand last week: one butternut, one buttercup, and several entertainingly lumpy gourds. Last night I made soup with the butternut squash.

The problem with winter squash soup recipes is that they require peeling the squash, which is a giant waste of time, and can actually be dangerous if you lack sharp knives and/or knife skills. I think that, like sweet potatoes, winter squash is best when roasted -- it seems to concentrate the flavor and intensify the sweetness. So instead of peeling and boiling, I started my butternut squash soup by roasting the squash at 400 degrees for about an hour. I cut it into 4 pieces first and sprayed it with a little olive oil.

The skin slides right off of roasted squash. Problem solved.

I sauteed a sweet onion and a tiny clove of garlic in 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil. Then I added a chopped Yukon Gold potato, the scooped-out squash innards, a cup of white wine (begging the pardon of Julia Child once again: it was a Chardonnay that I saved for cooking because it tasted like soda pop), and several cups of chicken broth.

I seasoned it with:

- a few fresh sage leaves, chiffonaded
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- a few thyme leaves
- salt

I simmered it until the potatoes softened, about 35 minutes, then pureed it with a little water so it didn't become gluey. I reheated it, stirred in a few tablespoons of chopped chives, and topped the bowls with:

- sour cream
- fresh black pepper
- sage leaves fried in butter and drained on paper towels
- whole fresh chives

(Fried sage leaves are amazing. Lawson makes tomato sauce with cannellini beans and fried sage leaves...simply the best pasta I've ever eaten.)

In the picture you also see a popover, and some mixed lettuce tossed with rice vinegar.

The soup was even better the next day. And now it truly feels like autumn, even if it is 90 degrees in Columbia today.

1 comment:

Kris said...

This is a beautiful autumnal photo! I have had squash soup but never made it myself. Probably it's time.