Butternut squash soup is one of the few things that I really like about cold weather. I have seen many versions of this soup that feature additions of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and other “pumpkin spice” spices, but I think they overpower the soup. The best way to make butternut squash soup, in my opinion, is to approach it simply. There are very few ingredients in this soup, but if you do it right, it becomes rich and luxurious. One thing to keep in mind is the texture. If you don’t have enough liquid, it will be more like baby food, and that is not desirable. If the texture is too thick (because the size of the butternut squash can vary) feel free to add more chicken stock and cream.
1 medium sized butternut squash
1 medium onion
1 cup of cream
1/2 cube of butter
1TBSP olive oil
1 1/2-2 quarts of chicken stock (This can vary depending on the desired consistency)
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
First, prepare your ingredients. Peel, seed, and chop the butternut squash. Dice the onion. Begin by melting butter in the pan with the olive oil (this raises the smoking point of the butter). Add onion and cook until translucent. Add bay leaves, salt, and pepper; cook until fragrant. Add the butternut squash and chicken stock, just cover the butternut squash with liquid, reserving the rest to manipulate the consistency. Cook for 20 minutes, or until butternut squash is fork tender.
Remove the bay leaves and blend using an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a slotted spoon to transfer the squash to a regular blender, using just enough liquid to blend it smooth. If you do it this way, use extreme caution and don’t overfill the blender. An immersion blender is a great investment. If you don’t have one, you should get one.
Add the desired amount of cream and chicken stock to achieve the consistency you want (I prefer it a little thinner). It is important to add the stock first, to lower the temperature of the soup so the cream doesn’t curdle. Once you have the consistency you like, check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve with a panini or grilled cheese, or simply by itself. It is one of my favorites.