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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Butternut Squash Soup

At the moment I have an over abundance of butternut squash.  I didn't grow it but it's so cheap in the stores once fall hits that I stock up since it lasts so long in a cool, dry place.  Previously I have posted recipes for Butternut Squash Pasta, Butternut Squash Risotto, and Roasted Veggies including Butternut Squash.  I do love me some butternut!  It's a very versatile and pretty darn easy to worth with veg.

Case in point, this soup is about as simple as it gets and it's all kinds of yum!   In a big pot heat up 2 Tablespoons of olive oil (by now you probably know I'm an extra virgin kind of gal.  What can I say, my Catholic upbringing keeps a soft spot in my heart for any virgin!).  Add one small onion chopped or as I used here, half of a large onion.  I strictly use whatever sweet onion is in season and they tend to be larger than your average boiling onion.  Add about a teaspoon of salt.  If you're going to used canned/boxed broth, keep your salting to a minimum since those tend to contain a lot of salt.  And a few grinds of pepper.

You just want to sweat the onions and get them soft.  Minimal to no browning so keep the temperature on the burner low.  

Peel and chop one medium sized butternut squash.

Medium dice is just fine.  It doesn't really matter because in the end they will be blended into a puree anyway.  Talk lightly again, and pepper too if desired.  Saute the squash with the onions for a few minutes, not long.  You just want to get the cooking process going.  At this point you can add a few grinds of nutmeg to the squash if desired.  Add four to 5 cups of broth.  Now, you can use homemade stock/broth (ideal) if you have it, or you can use canned or boxed broth.  My person fave is Kitchen Basics.  It's lower in salt than most and if you want you can get it completely unsalted.  It has a great flavor and it's made right here in Northeast Ohio.

I used one carton of Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock because I completely forgot I had my own homemade vegetable stock in the freezer.  Doh!   And I added an extra cup of water.  The carton is four cups.   Simmer the stock/squash mixture until the squash is fork tender.  This takes about 20 minutes or so.  Just insert a fork or knife into a piece of squash and if the knife goes in easy and slides right out, you're good.  Hmmm that sounds dirty. ;)

Turn the eat off and then take our your handy dandy immersion blender and blend that soup up into a puree! Immersion blenders are easy peasy to use, but if you don't have one you can use a food processor or you can use a regular blender.  Just be very careful and do it in small amounts because the hot soup will splatter.  

Once it was done I added some finely chopped sage, not a lot, sage is a very strong flavor but it goes very well with butternut squash.  Truth be told I probably would have added it before it was pureed if I had it, but I didn't so I added it after.  I liked it this way very much and liked seeing the specs of green in all the orange.  

This soup is so tasty and so easy to make.  All totaled, it took about 40 minutes to make, if that.  The hardest part is peeling the butternut.  There is no butter, no cream and a minimum of oil.  All in all, not too shabby!