But honestly, I am not a fan of sweet squash soups.
I know, I know, you have a recipe that will change my mind, right? Oh, I will say this as sweetly as I possibly can...uhm, (big smile)..no, you won't (STILL smiling, if that helps soften the blow).
I'll admit, apple and butternut squash IS a classic fall pairing, and everyone loves and makes this soup every season. It's just, well, this is my food blog, and I love, love, love savory squash soups!
Today's recipe is more of a suggestion. It is not important to follow a strict set of measurements in this dish, so feel free to tweak, adjust, delete, or modify this soup in anyway that suits your palate.
Savory Butternut Squash Soup w/Smoked Paprika Seeds
and Creme Fraiche
2-3 lbs Butternut Squash
1 med. yellow or white onion, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil, or unsalted butter
2-3 Cloves Garlic chopped
1 bay leaf
4 stems Fresh Thyme (Leaves and stems) or 1 teaspoon dried
4-5 leaves fresh Sage or 1 teaspoon dried
Water or veggie stock to cover (I use water)
1-2 tablespoon fresh lemon
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
Cut butternut (or any winter squash) in half, remove seed and save for later use. Place squash, cut side down on sheet pan and cook for 30-40 minutes or until a sharp knife pierces the flesh easily. Once cooked, remove squash from oven and cool, then scoop out flesh.
Put a 5 quart soup pot on medium heat, add oil and wait for one minute then add onion, garlic, bay leaf, sage and thyme. Gently cook or sweat (sweat: means to cook without caramelization.. no color) onions until translucent. Now add butternut squash and enough water or veggie stock* to cover contents and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove bay leaf and thyme stems and puree soup in small batches. Be very careful with this hot soup in a blender! Season with butter, salt, pepper and lemon juice (lemon juice brightens the soup and creates more dimension, trust me) . Taste and adjust seasonings.
Toasted Seeds: Remove seeds from squash (leaving some of the string on the seeds is fine), toss seeds with a teaspoon or two of olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and 1/2 teaspoon smoked spanish paprika. Spread seeds onto a sheet pan and bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until the seeds begin to smell fragrant and are toasty. Remove from oven, and pour onto a plate to cool. Reserve for garnish.
*Note: I don't care to use chicken stock as it "muddles" the flavor of the soup. I prefer pure clean flavors, so I use water or veg. stocks.
To plate: Ladle soup into hot bowls, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. I used house made creme fraiche, but sour cream or yogurt also works nicely.
One more week at the LFM..