Monday, September 27, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

i am playing mind-games with myself
loading my kitchen with
pumpkins, squash, gourds
and all things fall

all while
cranking the air conditioner
up, Up UP

feeding my husband soup
as the outside temperature rises above one hundred
if i waited until the weather cooperated
2011 would be looming
soup weather arrives
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
(printable recipe)
4 cups butternut squash-cut into large dice
4 cloves of garlic-kept whole
2 shallots-cut in half
salt, pepper, olive oil
1/2 medium onion--diced
2 stalks celery--diced
1 Tbs whole coriander--toasted
1 tsp whole cumin--toasted
2 whole cloves--toasted
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground chipotle chili pepper
1/8 tsp red chili flakes (or more if you like very spicy)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 oz calvados (optional)
6-8 cups low sodium chicken broth (or water for vegetarian)
2 tsp brown sugar
cream or sour cream (optional for serving)
toss the butternut squash, garlic and shallots in a bit of olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on two sheet pans and roast at 400 until the squash becomes soft and beginning to brown--approximately 40-50 minutes.  Check on it after 25 minutes and turn to allow for even cooking.  Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a stockpot, heat a bit of olive oil (just enough to coat the bottom lightly) and slowly cook the onions and celery until they are soft. Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle crush the coriander, cumin, cloves and salt until they are nicely ground.  add the chipotle pepper, chili flakes and thyme, and toss all into the onion mixture.  cook for a minute or two, until there it seems like a paste, then add the calvados (if using) and stir until it is absorbed.  add the broth or water, the roasted squash, roasted garlic, roasted shallots and brown sugar.  simmer for 30 minutes.
for a hearty thick soup
using an immersion blender or stand blender, blend the soup until everything is evenly pureed.  reheat and serve topped with a bit of cream or sour cream
for a refined, silky smooth soup
*this will remove some of the strength of the spices, but will still allow for a flavorful soup.  i prefer the soup with this extra step, but it is not required.
push the pureed soup through a fine sieve, discarding the remaining solids
swirl in a bit of cream

I am participating in Tuesday Night Supper Club 
Hearth and Soul


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