Superb Squash Soup with the Best Parmesan Croutons

This fantastic soup is best made with varieties of squash that have dense, orange flesh, such as butternut or onion squash. It's important to use good chicken stock and season the soup well to bring out the nutty, sweet flavor of the squash. Once you've mastered this recipe, you can take the soup in different ways by adding pearl barley, dried pasta, or some chopped bacon. Even the smallest amount of dried porcini. P.S. I made this in my pressure cooker the other day, with really great results - it's so quick!

TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 10 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 45 min
 
YIELD: 8 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 16 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 1/2 fresh red chile, to taste, seeded and finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 1/4 pounds butternut squash, onion squash, or musque de Provence, halved, deseeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 quarts good-quality Chicken or vegetable stock
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
    • FOR THE CROUTONS:
      • Extra-virgin olive oil
      • 16 slices ciabatta bread
      • 1 chunk Parmesan, for grating
      recipe tools
      • COMMENT ON THIS PROJECT

            

        Sign in

        All fields are required.

        E-mail Address:

        Password:

        Remember me on this computer

        Signing in

        Please enter your email address and we will send your password

        E-mail Address

        Your password has been sent and should arrive in your mailbox very soon.

        Not a member?

        Sign up for My Cooking Channel to share photos, show off your style, and connect to an enthusiastic and helpful community.

        It's free and easy.

      • Print Recipe

      Directions

      Put a very large saucepan on a medium heat and pour in a couple of glugs of olive oil.

      Add the sage leaves and fry for around 30 seconds or until dark green and crisp. Quickly remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl lined with paper towels - you'll use these for sprinkling over at the end. In the pan you'll be left with a beautifully flavored oil, so put it back on the heat and throw in your onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary leaves, chile and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are sweet and soft. Add the squash and the stock to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for around 30 minutes.

      While the soup is cooking, make your croutons. Drizzle a little olive oil over the ciabatta slices, and press some grated Parmesan onto each side. Place in a non-stick pan without any oil and fry until golden on both sides.

      When the squash is soft and cooked through, whiz the soup with an immersion blender or pour it into a standard blender and pulse until you have a smooth puree* (but you can leave it slightly chunky if you like). Most importantly, remember to taste and season it until it's perfect. Divide the soup between your bowls, placing 2 croutons on top of each. Sprinkle with a few of your crispy sage leaves and drizzle with a swirl of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil.

      *When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

      "Our agreement with the producers of "Jamie at Home" only permit us to make 2 recipes per episode available online. Food Network regrets the inconvenience to our viewers and foodnetwork.com users"

      COMMENT ON THIS PROJECT

          

      Sign in

      All fields are required.

      E-mail Address:

      Password:

      Remember me on this computer

      Signing in

      Please enter your email address and we will send your password

      E-mail Address

      Your password has been sent and should arrive in your mailbox very soon.

      Not a member?

      Sign up for My Cooking Channel to share photos, show off your style, and connect to an enthusiastic and helpful community.

      It's free and easy.

      Review This Recipe

      You must be logged in to review this recipe.

      5

      Newest Ratings and Reviews

      Read all 1 reviews

      • on December 19, 2011

        Flag

        This soup is fantastic and so easy. To make it even easier instead of frying, you can bake the croutons in the oven and sprinkle with parmesan after. Yum!

        people found this review Helpful.
        Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
      Advertisement

      On TV

      *ALL TIMES EASTERN
      ON AIR
      NOW
      TONIGHT
      10:00
      PM

      Get Cooking Channel on your TV.