Because we had a lovely filling lunch at Skillet, I couldn’t exactly bring myself to make a full on dinner. Which was fine by everyone.
So for a quick, satisfying meal, I made the old fall standby, butternut squash soup. It doesn’t have to be filled to the brim with cream, it can be rich and silky with just the squash and some good stock. Garnish with bacon or don’t; it’s flexible for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Whipped Cream
1 medium to large butternut squash
3 oz bacon ends, chopped
4 green onions (or a small chopped onion)
2 cloves of garlic
1 T bacon fat, butter or olive oil
3 to 5 cups of good quality (i.e., homemade) chicken or vegetable stock; if you don’t have it, please don’t use boxed stock, just use water
4 or 5 fresh sage leaves, julienned
1/4 c heavy cream
Olive oil, salt, pepper
Begin by peeling your butternut squash. PK tip: peel it twice. If you do it once, it will still be somewhat pale and starchy looking. You want to peel to the nice orange part. Cut the ends off, cut it in half, remove the seeds and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes. Space cubes evenly on a roasting pan with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper, mix with clean hands to coat evenly. Slide into a 400˚ oven for about 30 minutes.
While the squash is roasting, in a large sauce pot render some bacon (if using). When crispy, remove to a paper towel and save about a tablespoon of the fat to soften the onion and garlic over low heat. When the squash is soft (a fork pierces it easily) either add to the pot with the softened onion and garlic along with 3 cups (to start) of stock and use an immersion blender to puree. If you don’t have one, combine all in a food processor or a blender. Return the puree to a sauce pan to heat through, adding more stock to thin to the consistency you like.
For a garnish, whip the cream until it’s stiff (but not butter!) and add in the sage and a pinch of salt. Another – even quicker – method is to use a small food processor or an immersion blender with a whisk attachment. Super fast whipped cream. I like that.
To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with a generous sprinkling of bacon and a nice spoonful or a quenelle (if you can do that – I still kind of stink at making them) of whipped cream. Serve immediately as the whipped cream begins to melt quickly.
The only ingredients that weren’t local were the olive oil, salt and pepper. For complete sourcing, see the Farms and Producers page.
Playlist included Carry Me Ohio, by Sun Kil Moon. Sounds like falling leaves.