Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Soup of the Week: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of those nice recipes that just takes a few really great flavors, puts them together, and lets them do their stuff. I especially like to make this soup when I have a lot of butternut squash, and then I can freeze a bunch of the puree. This is what you need:

Butternut squash, as many as you've got
Peeled whole garlic cloves, about 4 per half of butternut squash
Sage leaves, about 2 per half of squash
salt and pepper
Milk or cream for finishing off.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each squash in half , lay the halves out next to each other, and admire them, like this:

Scoop out the seeds and set aside. Put the garlic cloves and sage leaves in the hollows of the squash, and magically turn them over onto a baking sheet or pyrex dish while keeping the garlic in place. (Okay, actually realize that you have to make little sage garlic mountains on the baking dish while you place the squash on top)
The point is, the squash is face down and the garlic is inside- do what you have to do. Bake until the squash is brown and soft, about an hour or so. Take it out and let it cool.
Meanwhile, clean the seeds, coat with a bit of olive oil and salt, and roast on a baking sheet until they start to pop, 10 or fifteen minutes. Set aside.
When the squash has cooled a bit, peel it. This should be pretty easy if it is cooked enough. Get yourself a nice heavy pot. Put all of the squash, garlic and sage into it. Add a bit of water. Put your hand blender into the pot, and have a good time. If you don't have a hand blender, buy one. I swear it will bring you much joy. Keep adding more water, slowly, to bring it up to a nice mushy puree. Then add the milk or cream at the end, and season with salt and pepper.
If you make lots of puree and would like to freeze, take a moment to fill some glass containers before you add the milk. This stuff freezes great.
Top with roasted seeds and there you go- you have made your soup of the week.

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