When it comes to seasonal food, we crave soup—at the first sign of fall's brisk winds and when sweaters can be worn as true outerwear, we head to the market to purchase whatever produce can be transformed into soup. For us, butternut squash is a staple from September until March. This recipe is basic yet the flavor can altered by simply changing the supporting ingredients. So against your mother's insistence—play with your food.! Start with the basic recipe and add or subtract until you find the perfect flavor combination for your taste buds.
3 medium sized butternut squash
1 medium sized onion
2.5 cups of vegetable broth
2 cups of water
3 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup cream
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper
1/2 cup of crème fraiche
1 teaspoon of maldon salt
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh fennel
1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 2 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 1 hour.
2. Meanwhile, cut the onion and chopped the garlic. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 - 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
3. When the squash is ready, set them aside to cool. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed onions.
4. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
5. Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
6. Ladle soup portions. Add a dollop of crème fraiche, 1/2 teaspoon of chopped fennel and a pinch or two of maldon salt to each bowl.
p.s. Now that dinner is ready, let us help you set the table!