Be Replaced

Butternut Squash Soup

soup

Hello all of you out there in blog-land.  How is the New Year treating you so far?  Right now things are a little hectic over here but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things will settle back down again shortly.  I’ve been relaxing in the kitchen, testing out all of my new kitchen toys and seeing how many I can use in one meal.  I must say that I am in love with my immersion blender, it just makes everything so much easier.  Part of me is wondering how I survived making soup without one, that’s how wonderful this handy little tool is.  I just combine that with my new dutch oven and I am one happy cook 🙂  Tonight’s recipe features both the dutch oven and the immersion blender, but it can still be made using a standard soup pot and a blender.  Just make sure the lid is  secure on the blender in order to avoid painting the walls an amazing shade of orange.  Not that I have any experience with doing that….
Ingredients:
– 3lb squash
– 2tsp pepper
– 2tsp salt
– 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp butter
– 3 cloves garlic
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 2 cups vegetable stock
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup half and half
– 2 tsp vanilla
– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425.  Lightly grease a roasting pan or a large cookie sheet.
2. Cut the squash in half and remove seeds.  Dab with butter and top with the salt, pepper, and cinnamon.  Roast in oven for 45minutes.  Allow squash to cool slightly, then peel and cube.  

3.  Once the squash has been removed from the oven begin to heat the butter and olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the squash once the butter has fully melted.  Cook the squash for 5minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.  Add the garlic and onion and cook an additional 5-7minutes, or until the onion has softened.
4.  Turn heat down to medium high and add the vegetable stock and water.  Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, then turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 10minutes stirring occasionally.  
5. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix the half and half with the vanilla.  Place in fridge and chill until ready to add to soup.
6.  Once the soup has simmered for 10minutes, either use immersion blender to puree the soup or remove the soup in parts to a blender.  After the soup has been pureed add the half&half vanilla mixture to the soup.  Season the soup to taste and allow to simmer for an additional 10-15minutes.  Serve!

I am a true sucker for winter soups but for the longest time I avoided butternut squash soup, something about it just turned me off.  Then I watched an episode of Top Chef that featured a Vanilla Love Butternut Squash Soup, or something like that, and after realizing there was no way I could do a vanilla foam I decided to start experimenting some more with the soup.  While this soup is not as creamier as some versions out there, I feel like it really allows the butternut squash to come out.  If I knew more about the science of cooking maybe I could tell you if that was because of the vanilla, or if it’s just the simple lack of heavy creams.  What I can tell you is that this soup is perfect for a chilly winter night, just add a nice piece of crusty bread to go with it.