Here’s one recipe that you need to add to your fall recipe collection-Butternut Squash Soup. This soup is so rich and creamy that you will be surprised to learn that it is actually healthy as well! Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall vegetables and this simple soup really lets the squash’s flavor shine through. Using a blender is the secret to making this soup so thick and velvety smooth without using a drop of cream. If you are already planning your Thanksgiving meal, this soup would be a perfect starter course. Simple, easy and full of flavor-this recipe is sure to become a favorite with your family. Serve with Spiced Pumpkin Buttermilk Biscuits for a warm and comforting dinner on a chilly fall evening.
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Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks (about 7 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 leek, white and green parts only, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 – 2 cups water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Sour cream
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
- Place squash chunks in a large microwavable safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 14 to 18 minutes, stirring halfway through, until a paring knife glides easily through flesh. Transfer squash to a colander set in a large bowl; let drain for 5 minutes; reserve liquid.
- In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat melt the butter. Add squash, leek, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown fond forms in bottom of pot and squash pieces begin to break down, 10 to 13 minutes.
- Add 2 cups vegetable broth and scrape bottom of the pot to loosen and dissolve fond. Add remaining 2 cups broth, reserved squash liquid, 1 cup water, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and cayenne. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until leeks are tender, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Remove the pot from heat and remove and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Working in batches, and filling the blender no more than ⅔ full, process soup until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Return soup to clean pot and bring to simmer, thinning with up to 1 cup water to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve with toasted hazelnuts and a dollop of sour cream.
Yields: 6 to 8 servings
Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, September 2011