We finally have some fall weather here in the Midwest and you know what that means? Soup Season! Yes folks, it’s that time of year when I make copious quantities of soup. Today’s soup was a favorite of the tearoom….somehow no matter how much I made, we always ran out of Butternut Squash Soup. There were days it sold so quickly, the staff didn’t get any. That was always a sad day because there was usually whining, complaining, and gnashing of teeth. Well, maybe not the gnashing of teeth but definitely whining and complaining.
The secret to making this soup so tasty is roasting the squash first with whole cloves. It is a very subtle difference but the cloves give a gentle spiciness and roasting the squash first concentrates the squash flavor a bit. A word of caution, be sure you remove all the clove pieces. No one wants to chomp down on a piece of clove it can give a very bitter taste to a rather tasty soup experience.
This soup can be made vegan friendly but some prefer it with a little more savory flavor enhanced by using all chicken stock for the base. If you want to make it vegan friendly, the chicken stock can be replaced with apple cider, water or a combination of both. Be aware that if using all apple cider to replace the chicken stock, your soup will be much sweeter. You may want to experiment with half water and half cider at first.
Butternut Squash Soup
Yield: 8 servings, about 2 quarts
- 1 large butternut squash about 2 pounds
- 8 – 10 Whole cloves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 cup peeled and chopped apple, Granny Smith works well
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water or apple cider
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- Raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) for garnish (optional)
- Pumpkin seed oil for garnish (optional) available from Amazon HERE
- Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment and set aside.
- Cut stem end off squash, then cut in half from top to bottom. Remove and discard seeds.
- Place squash cut side down on prepared sheets.
- Using a sharp implement like an ice pick, poke 4 to 5 holes into each half. Place a whole clove into each of the holes.
- Place baking sheet in oven and add water to a depth of 1/4 inch. Roast squash for 45 minutes or till fork tender.
- Remove from oven and cool till able to handle.
- Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scrape flesh from skin and place in large bowl to rest.
- In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add shallots and sauté until clear.
- Add apples then sauté another 5 – 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Combine shallots, apples, roasted squash, broth or water, cider, salt and pepper.
- Bring to boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or till apples are tender.
- Use an immersion blender to puree soup till smooth or working in small batches puree soup in the container of a blender until smooth and return to stockpot to keep warm.
- Garnish individual servings with a sprinkling pepitas and a swirl of pumpkin seed oil if desired.
NOTE: This soup freezes well up to 6 months in an airtight container. I usually use zip bags squishing all the air out and laying flat to make more room in the freezer. The bags can be labeled, stacked and thawed much more efficiently. Also, you can freeze and defrost individual servings easier with zip bags.
Other garnishes: Toasted bread cubes, a swirl or dollop of sour cream, or a sprinkle of chopped chives
If you’d like to know more about the china pattern in the photos I blogged about my collection of Buffalo China Raleigh pattern on my Attic Sister site.