Now I'm backtracking to a soup I missed in December when I was in Venice. I love butternut squash and it's readily available at my farmer's market right now, so I decided to go for it.
Last fall, I made this soup with a different recipe which called for peeling and chunking the squash and then cooking it in broth. This recipe is much easier since you just throw the squash in the oven and then peel it afterwards, plus I like the roasted flavor. It does take a while to roast the squash so I did that one night, put it in the fridge, and then made the soup the next night. Delicious!
Recipe and my notes are below.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
2 butternut squash, about 2 pounds each (or 1 acorn squash and 1 butternut)
a little butter (or olive oil)
a couple tablespoons diced pancetta (optional)
1 onion, diced
a dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
5-6 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
dash of freshly ground nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
optional garnish: a little creme fraiche or plain yogurt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds. In a roasting pan, place the squash with a little pat of butter or a drizzle of olive oil over each piece. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until completely cooked through.
2. In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, saute the pancetta and onion (or just the onion in some olive oil) until lightly browned. Add some red pepper flakes to taste, if you like a little heat.
3. Scoop the flesh from the roasted squash and add it to the pot. Add 5 cups of vegetable broth and the seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes.
3. Using a hand mini blender, puree the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If it is too thick, add up to a cup more of the broth. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
4. Serve garnished with with the creme fraiche or yogurt and an extra dash of freshly ground pepper.
Serves at least 6
I used olive oil and chicken broth, skipped the pancetta, and did add the optional red pepper flakes. I garnished with yogurt.
I also added a couple of cloves of garlic and a Parmigiano-Reggiano rind.