Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Roasted Squash Soup

On the weekends, I like to have a lot of things happening in the kitchen whether it be something baking in the oven or simmering on the stove. This soup is the best of both worlds as the squash are roasted, caramelizing nicely, and then pureed into a silky sweet soup that hardly cooks for any time at all. I prefer acorn squash for it's pretty buttery yellow flesh and the subtle sweetness it imparts but use whatever squash you like.

For four servings:
  • 3 pounds of acorn squash
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • I medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • Fresh sage leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper and place flesh side down on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turn the squash over, and roast for another 20-25 minutes until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Set aside, or cool and refrigerate up to a day in advance.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the onion and garlic, sautéing for 5 minutes. Scoop the flesh out of the squash skin with a spoon and add to the pot, stirring frequently for 2 minutes, breaking it up as you stir. Add the wine and stir until most of it has evaporated. Add the broth, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.

If you have an immersion blender, then lucky you. Mine took a tragic fall off the counter one day and shattered into more pieces than I thought possible. If your life is immersion-free, than ladle out 2 cups at a time into the regular old blender, being sure not to let the squash lava escape and cause a mess (and burns). Puree it for a nice amount of time, the end result should be silky smooth, and pour the puree into a separate bowl. Once all of the soup has been processed, give the saucepan a quick rinse and pour the smooth soup back in, warming it over medium-low heat.

Stir in the half and half and cook until it is just warmed through. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and add about a quarter-inch of olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the sage leaves, being sure the pan isn't overcrowded, and stir them around a bit, immediately removing them to a paper towel lined plate to drain. They won't need to cook for much more than a minute. Use the sage leaves as a tasty, green garnish for the soup.

1 comment:

thecelticcookinshanghai said...

I am a big fan of roasting my veg when making soup. It really brings out the flavour. This looked really good.