Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash soup shows up on restaurant specials menus from now through Thanksgiving, and rightly so: it is special. Butternut squash is in season right now, and when roasted, the flesh softens and the flavor deepens, making it ready to be pureed into creamy fall soup.
But while butternut squash soup is special, it's not especially difficult to make at home. It takes a little bit of patience (you'll have to wait about a half-hour for the squash to roast) but once the squash is cooked, you just need to simmer with some liquid, season and puree. If you have a hand blender, the process is even easier -- a hand blender allows you to blend soup right in the pot -- but if you don't, you can use a regular blender. Be sure to puree the soup in batches; if you over-fill the blender you could end up with a mess. (Think soup volcano.)
Serve the creamy soup on its own or garnish with toasted pepitas, dried apples or cranberries, or if you want to get really fancy, float a cheesy crostini on top.
6 cups (about 2 large squash) seeded 2-inch wide chunks butternut squash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper. On a sheet pan lay the squash flesh side up. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is nice and soft.
Scoop the flesh from the skin into a pot and add the stock, honey, and ginger. Bring to a simmer and puree using a stick blender. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.