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Wednesday Food: Savory Butternut Squash Soup

IMG_1812 cropI spent the weekend in Eastern Connecticut for a wedding.  Not necessarily my favorite event to celebrate (for reasons others described in a TH not long passed), but everything about this wedding was picturesque and genuine.  A favorite detail was the turn of the century typewriter with which we were asked to leave messages.  Other amusing elements were a-religious vows involving kazoos, mustaches and a “photo booth,” but the best part of the evening was dinner.

The seasonal menu was a tribute to autumn and included  greens with Stilton and candied walnuts, baked squash and root vegetables, sweet potatoes, scallion mashed potatoes, smoked pork, beef tips, and chocolate ginger bark.  My inspiration for this post, however, came from a shooter of pumpkin and butternut squash soup with which we began.  The sweetness of the squash was complimented by pumpkin pie spices and made rich by a dollop of sour cream.  It was the perfect orientation for the meal.

In translating the dish I wanted to lean toward something more savory with heat, and that could be eaten by the bowl.  In the end the recipe I chose, (and strongly adapted) came from Emeril Lagasse.  I received a number of jalapenos in my CSA share that I wanted to utilize and the results were surprisingly good.  The butternut squash yields a thick, velvety texture, while the jalapeno tastes fresh and warming, and cumin is the perfect antidote for so many dishes that are overpowered by nutmeg.  Recipe after the jump…

Beer Pairing: Try a Harvest Ale– Sierra Nevada’s Estate Brewers or Founders Harvest

Savory Butternut Squash Soup

adapted from Emeril Lagasse

  • 1 butternut squash, 2-3 lbs
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 jalapeno, minced, some reserved for garnish
  • 3 cups chicken/veg stock
  • 3 tbs heavy cream
  • 1/2 – 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • low-fat sour cream, for garnish

Halve the squash and remove seeds.  Peel (it’s easiest to use a knife rather than a vegetable peeler) and cut into 1 inch cubes.  Heat the oil in a large pot and add onion and garlic, stir often until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add carrot and cumin, and season with salt and pepper.  After about a minute add squash, jalapeno and stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer 20-30 minutes until all the squash is tender.

Puree until very smooth (anything works, immersion blender, food processor, upright blender).  Return to heat, add cream and milk until desired consistency is achieved.  Add additional seasoning as needed, then garnish with sour cream and jalapeno.  Does well with hot sauce.

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October 21, 2009 - Posted by | Wednesday Food

8 Comments

  1. Aside from the jalapeno that my pansy of a mouth couldn’t handle, that sounds amazing! I think I am going to welcome fall in my season-less city by adapting your delicious recipe to vegan (and sans jalapeno) & then curl up on the couch and watch “When Harry Met Sally.” Thanks for the inspiration!!

    Comment by Sarah | October 21, 2009

  2. Ginger & jalapeño makes for a welcome butternut squash soup spicing mixture, IME.

    I hear that there exists a squash, hight butterCUP, that’s even better than the butternut.

    Comment by ben | October 21, 2009

  3. Sounds good… Suggestion: roast the squash, jalapeno and garlic briefly in a hot oven with some olive oil and seasoning, until the edges of the squash catch, before adding to the soup. Adds a pleasing smokiness…

    Comment by Sam C | October 22, 2009

  4. Hey, but that squash in the pic is an acorn not butternut, right?

    Also, I read your intro to Zizek and Theology for my discourse analysis comp (The Sublime Object… was on my list). It was very helpful indeed. My husband loves Zizek and studies theology, the book is on our shelf.

    Comment by warbler | October 22, 2009

  5. Just to be clear, I didn’t write this post — Erika Bolden is our food writer. But I’m glad you found my book helpful.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | October 22, 2009

  6. Sarah- grow a pair, darling. If you insist on denying yourself meat, the least you can do is treat yourself to heat.

    Ben- hat tip for bringing a new member of the squash family to my attention. Have you encountered the wacky turban squash?

    Sam C- I also prefer to roast vegetables but the beauty of the stove method is speed.

    Warbler- I pictured an acorn squash because the remains of the butternut squash are in the bowl. Also, Adam is misleading you, I most certainly wrote the intro to Zizek and Theology.

    Comment by ebolden | October 22, 2009

  7. Oh how I would love to grow a pair of spice balls, not to be confused with space balls. On your next visit (soon, please), you must watch me attempt to introduce spice to my palette. Hilarity generally ensues…

    Comment by Sarah | October 22, 2009

  8. Spice balls sound pretty appetizing.

    Comment by ben | October 22, 2009


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