With the holidays here I am going to continue to give holiday themed recipes and tips. Here is a soup I have been doing for the past fifteen years and is always a hit during the winter.
As I have mentioned before, I do not have recipes for many items so I will give you estimates here.....sorry.
Butternut squash 1 ea
Water or chicken stock
Yellow onion, julienned
Pumpkin pie spice
Salt and pepper
Since I don't have an exact recipe here are the proportions
The garlic and onion should be about 25% of the amount of the squash
The chicken stock or water should be about two parts to one part cream.
If you do not wish to add cream that is fine too, then just add more stock or water
Preheat your oven to 300F. That is about 160C if I am not mistaken. If the temperature is too low that is no problem. You just don't want the temperature too high because you do not want the squash browned.
Cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Place both halves of the squash on a baking sheet, cut side up.
Add about an inch of water (if your pan has high enough sides) to the pan and cover the pan completely with foil. If you can't add water that is not a problem, just lower your temperature a bit.
Bake the squash for about an hour.
While the squash is baking:
Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add just enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom.
Saute your onion and garlic for about five or more minutes until cooked but not brown.
Set the pot aside off the heat until the squash is cooked.
To check the squash, stick a small knife in the center. If it is cooked it should feel like sticking a knife into soft butter.
Don't worry about overcooking it as the soup will be pureed. Just don't overcook it to the point where it is like mush and you have trouble separating the skin from the flesh.
Once cooked, remove the squash from the oven and let rest for about fifteen minutes or so.
Place a folded towel in your hand and pick up one half of the squash.
Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh. Make sure you do not scoop out the skin.
Add the scooped out flesh of the squash and the juice from the baking pan (if you have it) to the pot with the cooked onions and garlic.
Add your chicken stock or water and heavy cream (if you desire cream)-the amount of liquid should be enough to cover the squash by about one inch.
Add salt and pepper to taste and approximately one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
Puree in a blender until smooth.
The consistency should be about half as thick as commercial ketchup.
I personally like my pureed soups to be a bit thinner as it gives it a more silky texture on the tongue but if you want a thicker soup simply add less liquid.
The pumpkin pie spice should not be the predominate taste. This isn't a strong flavored soup like chili con carne for example, it is more delicate, for lack of a better way of putting it.
To garnish, I like to toast hazelnuts and chop them up