Butternut Squash Soup
A touch of Sherry can also add a lot to this flavor profile
Thyme and bay is best here, but you can experiment with other herbs. Use them heavily though, it would be difficult to add too much thyme.
Herbs can be in a bouquet di garni, that works just as well.
I don't consider butter and cream optional, because they both really make a difference in flavor and mouthfeel, but this can easily be converted to vegetarian by subbing olive oil and vegetable stock.
You can do this in a regular blender, just be careful transferring hot liquids.
cinnamon is optional, it is meant to be subtle and pump up the nutmeg flavor a little. both of those really help a lot.
Butchering a butternut squash can be challenging. Here's a tip: Cut off the stem side and a small part of the butt to give you a flat end. Cut lengthwise once, from stem to butt (be careful, use a sharp knife and watch your fingers as these can be difficult to cut.) Use a large spoon to scrape out the seeds and pulp from the middle. Now you can peel each half thoroughly, removing most of the pith. Cut each half in half again, then into 1" cubes.
don't be afraid of butter, cream or salt.
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes.
- 1.5 sticks of butter
- 2-4 oz heavy cream
- 2 oz rough chopped, de-stemed, fresh thyme
- 6-7 bay leaves
- 32 oz Chicken Stock (homemade if possible, otherwise Swanson's Low Sodium
- 1 med Shallot, diced
- 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- creme fraische, sour cream, crema, yoghurt or similar...
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Whole Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon (optional)
- Wine for chef to enjoy during cooking.
Adapted from reddit.com
Tools needed: * Immersion Blender * Stock Pot * Microplane * Peeler * Squeeze Bottle
In a large stock pot, heat 1 stick of butter over medium heat until foamy
add onion, shallot and a pinch of salt to sweat for ~3 minutes.
Add garlic and stir for ~1 minute.
Add squash and stir briefly to coat, then add bay, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Turn heat to high, add stock to cover.
When soup starts to simmer, lower heat to low and simmer for approx 15-20 minutes until squash is soft throughout. Test with paring knife, it should go through entire squash cube without resistance.
remove from heat and remove all bay leaves and stems, etc.
Add cream and remainder of butter, then blend smooth with immersion blender. (you can add cream slowly until it reaches your desired consistency, but it does dramatically affect mouthfeel.)
Taste, add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
in a squeeze bottle, add creme fraische, yogurt, crema or sour cream. Add milk, cream or buttermilk (or water) if neccessary, to get the proper consistency to provide a solid stream from the bottle. Test it, if it's 'spattering', thin it. Creme fraische is usually the correct consistency. transferring to a serving bowl, then, using the squeeze bottle, start in the center of the bowl, then make a spiral pattern outward to the edge.
Using a paring knife, a skewer or something pointy, drag from center to the edge at 12, 3, 6, & 9 o'clock. Then in between those spokes, drag from edge to center.
Top with a sprig of fresh thyme and grated nutmeg.
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