Butternut Squash Soup

My winter squash obsession has become more refined. That's overstating it a bit though. Let's just say I'm learning the names of the different winter squash. To date I have nine varieties and know the names of eight. One I can't pronounce and one, the one pictured, remains unknown. This is progress.

I grew up on butternut squash baked in boat shaped wedges filled with butter and brown sugar. Later I discovered pumpkin raviolis in a buttery white sauce at a country restaurant with a chef named Pierre. I never ordered anything else. "I'll have the ravioli's," I'd smile returning the menu without a glance.

The last pumpkin ravioli I had was at that restaurant too many years ago. The restaurant, the dirt parking lot, I think they're both gone.

The next time I ate squash it came in a box. Butternut squash soup in a box. I'd add green curry, ginger. Top it with chopped cilantro. It looked good, thick, golden, like the baked squash I grew up with. But it didn't have the dense flavor I remembered. It was butternut light. Butter without the nut. That must be what happens when its put into a soup, I reasoned.

My reasoning was flawed. I made my own butternut squash soup last week. It was as densely flavored as I remember those butter filled baked boats my Grandmother served. It was better than boats. And nearly as easy as opening a box but without the resulting trash.

Even Pierre, I imagine, would sit on a bar stool, his white apron half untied and kiss his fingertips over a bowl of this butternut squash soup. This then is for him.

Wherever he may be.

Butternut Squash Soup

Three Parts Chicken Broth
One Part Butternut Squash
Peanut or Almond Butter
Serrano or Jalapeno Chili
Creme Fraiche

Peel and cut butternut into two to three inch crooked cubes and wedges. Add to chicken broth and cook on medium heat with a small bouquet of thyme. Add one teaspoon of minced ginger and one teaspoon of nut butter for each cup of broth. For a medium spicy soup add half a teaspoon of minced pepper for each cup of broth.

Cook until squash is soft, remove thyme bouquet. Blend with an immersion blender and add salt to taste.

Serve topped with a circle of creme fraiche.

(Please note all measurements are approximate as I've yet to refine that fine art.)


Kelly said...

we live on the stuff in winter. its so so good. my other fave for butternut is to roast it, but before you do you toss wedges of it (like you grew up with) in olive oil and crushed cilantro seed, chilli, salt, cumin(whatever you like really) and bake until browning. Its very very good. i always try and make too much so we can have some in risotto but we never do, its always gone

June said...

We love it too! My girls beg for butternut squash soup all winter. Their favorite (and mine) roasts a few apples with the squash, sautes the onions with curry powder, then soups it all up with cup of apple cider and enough chicken broth.

Cannot wait to try your version, thank you!

Kale for Sale said...

Kelly - That sounds terrific with the spices. I'm terrible with spices but even I could do this. Thank you.

June - It's mutual. I've never ate squash with apples but I get it, the combo is a natural. I'll be trying your version. I love winter. Thank you.