Tonight, I made the first of I hope at least 238 winter squash soups to be had this season. Acorn squash is good, spaghetti squash is tasty with butter– but Butternut is King.
I should have taken a picture of my soup– a delicate, creamy, yolky color set off nicely in blue and white bowls. I even topped it with some fresh chopped chives. But soup like that isn’t long for this world, and we’d eaten it before I thought, oh, maybe I should have captured that for posterity. Too late! It was down the hatch and we were obscenely full.
It’s insanely easy, too. There’s no reason to buy the boxed stuff. There’s even less of a reson to buy the canned stuff. And winter squash is cheap.
Butternut Squash Soup
One butternut squash, ideally, but any winter squash will do.
Chicken stock or bouillon. I’ve made it without bouillon, and it’s okay.
Milk. I use 2% because that’s what I keep around. But whatever.
Dried, diced jalapeno peppers.
Slice the squash into manageable chunks. I hack it into quarters, but really it depends on the size of the squash. Put the pieces skin side up in a shallow baking dish, then add a cup of water. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the squash is soft, and the skin might start to look a little wrinkly and browned. This takes about an hour and half, but all you do is check on it every so often to make sure there is still water in the pan. Maybe poke it with a fork. Easy!
Scrape the cooled squashflesh into a pan. I use my fingers, since the skin is so thin and I want to get every little bit I can. I’m pretty sure it works as an enzyme exfoliant. Ha!
If you have any sauteed shallots, now would be the time to have them. I hardly ever have enough foresight to set aside a shallot, but they do taste good. Onions are too strong! Don’t do it! Maybe garlic, but not too much. This time, I skipped it and added a little 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s. Lazypants, I know. Oh, and don’t forget the dried jalapeno peppers! I use about 1/2 a teaspoon. They gather heat once they’ve been heated through and blended up in the soup.
Add about a cup of milk and then enough water or stock to make the amount of soup you want. I had a relatively tiny squash, so I was just making enough for two people.
Add bouillon if that’s what you’re using. I like Better Than Bouillon.
Simmer it until the milk threatens to rebel, then shut it off. Use a hand blender to whip it into shape. I’ve used a potato masher, which works, but the soup will have a heartier texture. With a hand blender, it’s almost frothy. They’re both good, just different.
This time, I added chives on top– but in the past I’ve grated parmesan in to make it more filling, or when I haven’t had stock or bouillon.
I could eat this all day, and I really don’t understand why more people don’t make use of squash like this. It is cheap and healthy, and is so simple to make.
And since I used chives, here is a song from the Scarlet Chives:
But here is what I was listening to as the Butternut baked and my daughter danced around and lectured me about fairies: