Savory Butternut Squash Soup

Savory Butternut Squash Soup
Squash Soup
This soup is wonderfully rich, creamy and ever so subtle with flavour. It smells fantastic as it's cooking and it freezes well. The original recipe was on Chow and I only made minor changes


   * 4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
   * 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
   * 1 medium Granny Smith apple
   * 1/2 medium size onion
   * 8 medium fresh sage leaves or dried
   * 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
   * 2 1/2 cups water
   * 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (more if needed)
   * 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (more if needed)
   * 1/3 cup heavy cream (more if needed). I used whipping cream the first time I made this recipe and it was amazing yummy but very rich so we could only have a small cup of soup. The second time I used half and half (coffee) cream which is 10% and that was perfect. 
   * 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

Here are my two Butternut Squash that I have to cut in half. Since they are very difficult for me to slice through, I microwave mine first for about 10 minutes.
First prick them all over with a sharp knife. Trust me, if you don't, you will have one heck of a mess in your microwave! While the squash is in the microwave, preheat your oven to 400'

Next cut the squash in half, lengthwise, then scoop out the insides and seeds. Discard those, or if you have pigs as we do, toss them in the pig bucket for a treat for your piggies.

Melt butter
You need to melt the butter now because you're going to brush it all over the squash. But first place the squash on a baking tray that you've lined with tin foil (shiny side down)
Butter, Salt and pepper for the squash
Brush melted butter all over the squash then add salt and pepper.
Buttering the squash

Then put the squash in a 400' oven for about an hour. It needs to be fork tender and it might burn a bit around the edges but that won't matter.
Squash just out of oven
Once the oven roasted squash has cooled enough to handle, you can start scooping out the insides. I don't like to wait that long so I use an oven mitt and scoop the innards out after about 15 minutes. Now you're ready to start making the soup.
Squash Innards in plastic tub
First chop the Granny Smith apples and onions. You  see two apples here because I doubled my recipe for these photos. 
Chop the sage leaves. Mine weren't fresh because I harvested all my sage from my garden and hung it to dry. So I had to use the semi-dried leaves but that works okay.
I put my chopped apples, onions and sage in a large pot with butter and am ready to saute for about 7 minutes.
If your saute dries out too much before the onions are translucent, just put a wee bit of the chicken broth in the pot.

Once the onions are ready (about 5 to 7 minutes) you can add the chicken broth and water. I used turkey broth since I have over 20 cups of it frozen from our Canadian Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. Be careful though if you do this because turkey broth has a strong flavour and you can easily overpower that subtle squash flavour in the soup.

Broth added
Basically you are using half water and half stock but I'd reduce the stock and increase the water by 1/4 cup if using turkey. Add the squash innards, mix well and bring to a boil. Add kosher salt and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Squash innards added to pot
You want to break up large chunks of squash but don't worry too much because you'll be blending it when it's all cooked.
Simmering in pot
After 15 minutes of simmering
Add the cream when the soup is done. Then after squash soup has cooled a bit you can blend it using your blender or use an immersion blender right in the pot. I like my Ninja blender - it's fast and does an amazing job of making a smooth mixture.
Squash soup blended
This soup freezes beautifully. You can freeze it before you put the cream in, or after. I prefer to freeze it in two-serving size tubs before adding the cream. Then I take it out, defrost in microwave, add the cream and reheat.

It's a wonderful savory soup to enjoy with homemade buttermilk biscuits on a chilly Fall day.


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