I love fall soups so I knew I had to try this recipe when my Cooks Illustrated came this fall. At first I was a little skeptical about microwaving the squash instead of roasting it, but the soup turned out soooo good (and faster than roasting it)! It had fantastic flavor and made a big pot of creamy goodness even though didn't have any cream or milk. I only wish my pictures were better of it. I guess that is as good as it gets when I take pictures of my food in my kitchen with no windows, at night, with a point and shoot camera that my dog recently chewed up! But believe me, this soup is fantastic!
- The first few times I made it I served with a dollop of sour cream. but I've since stopped doing it, I don't think it is needed since the soup is rich, creamy, and delicious all on its own.
Butternut Squash Soup
From: Cooks Illustrated
2 1/2 pound butternut squash (about one whole squash) peeled, seeded, and cut into 2 inch chunks
2 Tbsp butter
1 leek, white and light green parts only, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
4 cups vegetable broth
1-2 cups water
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
pinch cayenne pepper
1. Place squash in bowl, cover, and microwave until paring knife glides easily through flesh, 14-18 minutes, stirring halfway through. Carefully transfer squash to colander set in bowl (squash will be very hot) and drain for 5 minutes; reserve liquid.
2. Melt butter in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, leek, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until squash pieces begin to break down and brown fond forms in bottom of pot, 10-13 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups broth and scrape bottom of pot to loosen and dissolve fond. Add remaining 2 cups broth, reserve squash liquid, 1 cup water, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and cayenne. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until leeks are fully tender, 6-7 minutes.
4. Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Working in batches, process soup blender until smooth 1- 2 minutes (or use your immersion blender like I did). Return soup to pot and bring to simmer, thinning with up to 1 cup water to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired.