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March 19, 2013 / tyandolivia

Still Feels Like Winter? Make Butternut Squash Soup!

Apparently, it is still snowing around the world. Here in good ol’ Florida, we’ll have a high of 83 degrees today. This is my kind of weather.

But the weather here is not always so predictable. The other day it was back down to the 30s and 40s – basically a blizzard in my book. So, I broke out Ty’s recipe for butternut squash soup.

I looooove soup, especially on cold days. Ty describes this soup as “sweet, spicy and savory”. It can be served as a first course, or as I like it, the main course.

He advises using stock over broth as broth is full of chemicals (generally MSG, sometimes called yeast extract or any number of other names). Stock is made of chicken, beef or lamb simmered with veggies and spices. Stock can also have quite a bit of sodium, but it’s still better for you and contains fewer calories.

Ty serves this soup with bits of bacon on top. I always forget that part since it’s at the bottom of his recipe, so I’m putting it here at the top for you. It adds something special and makes it look fancier.

This would have looked more appealing with the bacon bits...

This would have looked more appealing with the bacon bits…

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1 medium butternut squash cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 medium carrots cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 stalk of celery cut into 1/2″ pieces

3/4 cup of hard cider or white Moscato wine

1 26 oz. carton of chicken stock (we use Swanson)

1 large russet potato cut into 1/2″ cubes

2 cloves garlic sliced or minced

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3 bay leaves

dried red pepper flakes (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Brown the vegetables

In a large soup pot, heat butter and olive oil until hot. Add squash, carrots, celery and onion. Brown over medium high to high heat until the veggies begin to brown.

Simmer the vegetables

Add cider, potato, garlic and enough stock to cover the tops of the veggies. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and bay leaves. Cook covered over medium heat until the potatoes begin to soften. DO NOT LET VEGGIES COOK TO A MUSH (that was Ty shouting in all caps, not me…) When potatoes are soft enough to mash with a spoon, remove from heat and transfer soup to a heat-proof container. Allow soup to rest until cool enough to blend in a blender.

Puree the soup

When the soup has cooled, remove the bay leaves and place in cooking pot. Working in batches, blend the soup at high speed until smooth and return to cooking pot. Add more chicken stock to achieve desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Warm soup to serving temperature.

Serve with toasted bread and garnish with crumbled bacon.

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