Butternut Squash Soup

Well hello! I’ve been gone a little longer than I would like, but you’ll have to forgive me. I’ve been busy freezing my tuchus off in some negative double digit wind chills. Oh, winter.

But I’m back with a cozy solution. Butternut squash soup seems to be ever-growing in popularity and I, for one, can’t complaint at all. It’s one of my favorite soups for this time of year. Squash has this wonderful way of being sweet and savory at the same time, and it accommodates spices really well. My version of this soup is simple, as always, and if you roast the squash in advance it only takes a few minutes to throw together later.

 

You will need:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2-3 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 3 Tbs maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs onion powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Fresh rosemary to garnish (optional)

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. You will need to peel your squash and then seed it and chop into roughly 1″ pieces. I promise this is the only real work you will have to do here. Scatter the pieces on a greased or lined baking sheet, drizzle the oil over and toss to coat each piece on all sides. Roast the squash for 30 minutes, then test with a fork to make sure they are very soft and can be mashed easily. If you are doing this part ahead, just store the roasted pieces in an airtight container in the fridge.

When you are ready to make the soup, gently mash the squash in the bottom of a soup pot with a fork. It doesn’t need to be fully smooth, just enough to get it started. Then add the chicken broth and milk and bring to a boiled over medium high heat. Add the butter and reduce heat to medium low. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is very smooth and no longer has any visible chunks of squash in it. If you don’t own an immersion blender, you can also carefully transfer the soup into a blender and do it that way.

Blending the squash should make the soup much thicker. If you prefer a thinner soup, you can add more chicken broth. If you want it thicker, just let the soup simmer over medium low heat for a while to reduce the liquid. Once the soup is at your preferred consistency, add the syrup and spices. Let it cook for a few minutes just to makes sure the flavors have infused, then it is ready to serve. I think this soup looks great garnished with rosemary sprigs and additional smoked paprika. Toasted pepitas or croutons are also common and delicious garnishes for squash soups. Like most soups, it is always better with some warm crusty bread.

This soup smells and tastes like warmth, sweetness and spice. It is perfect to enjoy on a cold night by the fire, or let’s be honest, bundled up on the couch watching Netflix.

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