Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Unbelievably Great Butternut Squash Soup
Dont' pack away that soup pot, yet! In my neck of the woods, we are just beginning snowy season...or so it seems. It's been relatively mild since November! When I say mild, though, it doesn't mean "go to the beach" weather. Just a light coat, not down jacket kind of day!
So, soups are still on the menu in this home. I'm happy that they are because this soup was heavenly! I needed to do something with my intimidating butternut squash. If you've ever tried to gracefully cut up a squash of this variety, you know why I'm hesitant! I don't think there is a strategy in carving up the extremely tough skin. A machete, maybe? Or, you can act like a damsel in distress (It works!) like I did. My hubby did the hard part and we worked as a team to conquer the butternut squash. If there is an easy way, (besides buying it cut up) please let me know.
I wandered onto another gal's blog called The Italian Dish for the recipe and changed a few things only slightly. It was creamy, and good with just the right amount of spice! It's a keeper!
Butternut Squash Soup
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried sage
6 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut up
1/8 cup sherry (I used Madeira)
4 cups chicken broth
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4 oz pancetta, chopped
1/4 cup cream or half and half
salt and pepper
Melt the butter and oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Add the garlic and sage and saute for one minute. Add squash and saute for 5 minutes. Add the Madeira, broth and cayenne pepper. Cover and simmer on low for about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the pancetta in a small skillet until crisp, and drain on a paper towel.
Puree soup. I used a blender, done in batches. Return puree to the pot and stir in the cream. Season to taste and add pancetta when serving. You can also add toasted garlic croutons as a garnish. Serves 4-6.