I was thrilled to find a meaty, locally grown butternut squash in our farm box last week. It’s been cool and rainy here in Oakland since I got back from my Thanksgiving travels. A roasted squash soup seemed like a perfect dinner to take the chill off.
I did my usual recipe review, reading a dozen or so variations to get ideas. I decided to experiment with the flavors in Michael Chiarello’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. His version was too labor-intensive for me, so I gave it an East Bay make-over (where people just aren’t so fussy IMO). Be prepared: upon taking my first taste, I let out an unexpected exclamation of surprise. Yeah, it’s that good.
East Bay Butternut Squash Soup
You are going to make a spicy roasting sauce, roast your squash in the sauce, prep and sautee your soup ingredients, add the squash to the soup, and puree.
1 large butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1-2″ cubes
(for roasting sauce) (for soup)
1/2 stick unsalted butter extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. granulated sugar 1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 TB. molasses 2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pepper 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. salt 4 c. low sodium chicken (or veg.) stock
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. coriander powder
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt the butter on the stove over medium-high heat. Add sugar, molasses, vinegar, chili, coriander, salt, and pepper. Mix well and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the cut squash and toss. Transfer the squash to a sheet pan or baking dish, large enough for squash to roast in a single layer. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring twice while roasting.
In a soup pot, sauté the onion and celery in 1-2 TBs. of olive oil. Add salt. When onions are soft and transparent, add cinnamon. Cook, stirring 1 minute. Add chicken stock. Bring back to a simmer. Transfer squash and all cooking liquids from roasting pan into soup pot. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings. Serve with sour cream and crusty bread.
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