This Falls Best Butternut Squash Soup
Oh Fall, how I love you. Your falling leaves. Your crisp air. Your festivals and craft fairs. And especially your butternut squash.
I don’t remember how long I’ve been making butternut squash soup but I know that it has been a long, long time. Every fall I get increasingly excited as the weather temperature drops knowing that I’ll soon be able to make warm and creamy soups every weekend. As I scan the produce section of the local market my eyes focus in on bountiful displays of squash just calling out to be transformed. Once I round up a few little white potatoes and an onion I head to my freezer for some delicious home made vegetable stock. With a little butter, salt, and garlic in hand I’m ready to make a huge mess of my kitchen in pursuit of creamy, orange, fall goodness.
Though butternut squash is a bit more difficult to with than other squash or potatoes due to its size, this whole recipe only takes about 40 minutes to prep and about the same to cook.
3.5 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup butter
3-4 smallish white potatoes (red or yellow both work; about 6 oz)
1 good sized butternut squash (go larger over smaller if you’re deciding between two)
8 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion (I like Vidalia)
2 Tbs salt
1/2 cup chopped green onion for garnish
cream for garnish
I like to start this soup by adding the vegetable stock to a large, sturdy pot and dropping in the garlic (diced) and half of the butter to warm while I prep the other ingredients. This way, when the butternut squash goes into the pot the liquid is already warm and will begin to cook the squash that much more quickly.
Now it’s time to prep the butternut squash. If you aren’t experienced with cutting up a butternut squash I’m going to level with you. It’s a bit more involved and time consuming than say, a yellow squash, but once you’ve done it one time you’ll be far quicker about it the next time around.
Start but cutting of the very top and bottom of the squash. Then, cut the squash in half(ish) by cutting the longer top portion from the more bulbous round portion at the bottom. I’ve found that the best way to do this is to rock the knife back and forth rather than trying to saw the knife back and forth. In fact, this method works well for all of the cutting as long as the rind is still on the squash.
Now its time to take the rind off of the squash. I’ve done this with a knife in the past but I think the best way to get this done is to use a vegetable peeler. It will make a total mess and the squash rind will fly everywhere but peeling the squash doesn’t loose any of the meat of the squash where as using a knife will. Peel down until all of the white is gone. If you find it difficult to use a peeler on the bulbous bottom part of the squash then, of course, a knife will work just fine.
Once you’ve got the squash peeled you’ll need to remove the seeds. The easiest way to do this is to cut the bottom portion of the squash in half and use a serrated spoon to dig out the seed and that weird gooey inside part.
Like pumpkin seeds, butternut squash seeds can be toasted with salt and eaten as a snack or used as a topping for your soup. I didn’t do it this time but I have in the past and they were really good but too much work for me—I guess I’m a bit lazy with this part :-/
Now that you’ve gotten the squash peeled and de-seeded go ahead and chop it up into about 2 inch cubes. It’s not necessary to be particular about getting them all the same size so don’t sweat it. These are going to cook for a while then be blended so super similar piece sizing isn’t too important with this recipe.
Drop the squash into the pot with your warmed stock, butter, and garlic. Pop on the lid and turn up the flame so that the soup mixture begins to boil. Not a hard, rolling boil mind you, just enough to have a good medium boil.
While your squash cooks away slice up the onion and put it into a large frying pan with the other half of the butter. Set it to a medium flame with the goal to caramelize the little beauties.
Stir them every few minutes or so until they turn translucent. Eventually, they will brown up, caramelize and smell amazing.
Once the onions are cooked set them aside so that you can prepare the potatoes. The potatoes add some much needed starch and creaminess to this recipe saving you from needing to add any cream or milk. Now, I know what you’re thinking… And, no. I have no issue with cream or milk. It’s just that sometimes I crave a really clean flavor and I’d rather save those calories for the beer that I’ll be having while watching Florida Gator football on Saturdays ;-)
While the onions are cooking it’s time to peel and chop the potatoes. Nothing special about this, just get them ready and once they are you can add them along with the cooked onions to the pot with the squash.
Pop the lid back on a cook until the potatoes are fork-tender. When the potatoes have cooked through whip out your *stick blender* and get to blending. Blend until the soup is super smooth and you’re done! Top with green onion and a bit of cream and devour. …what?!?, I know I said I wasn’t using cream earlier but when you only use it as a topping you can decide bowl-by-bowl what you want to do.