Roasting your butternut squash for soup caramelizes the natural sugar in butternut and gives it a deep rich taste. The oatmeal helps thicken the soup without using fat or starch and is a convenient way to add fiber. It also gives the soup a silky texture, so much so you will not miss the cream. I use milk so the flavors shine through.
Butternut squash soup pairs beautifully with Petit Syrah. It brings out the wines' sophisticated fruitiness and light spiciness too.
1 small butternut squash, 1 pound
2 carrots, cleaned and cut in 2" pieces
1 apple, peeled and cut in 2" pieces
1 medium onion or ½ large onion
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup oatmeal, (old fashion or quick)
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 qt. vegetable stock (see recipe)
½ cup of whole milk (optional)
4 sprigs of fried sage leaves for garnish (see note below)
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the butternut squash in half. Remove and discard the seeds from squash and place squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment for easy cleanup. Bake for about 30 minutes, add the carrots and apple and continue baking until the top of the squash is golden brown.
Over medium-high heat cook the onion, shallot, and garlic in butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan until translucent.
When the butternut is cool enough to handle remove the butternut squash pulp from the skin and add to the onion mixture, along with the carrot, apple, oatmeal, nutmeg, vegetable stock, salt, pepper, and milk. Cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes making sure all the ingredients are soft. In the meantime fry sage and preheat serving bowls.
Puree the soup in a blender make sure you do not fill your blender more than three-fourths full. Place a folded dry towel over the lid and hold tight, incase the heat from the soup pops the lid off. Blend until smooth, this will take a minute more depending on the power of your blender. You could use an immersion blender but the texture isn't as nice and it takes too long. Using a spatula, pass the puree through a fine strainer until the pulp is removed and texture is smooth and velvety. If you have a Vitamix you can skip passing it through a fine sieve.
Keep warm until ready to serve. Serve in warm bowls garnished with fried sage leaves.
Fried sage leaves: Heat ¼" of vegetable (sunflower, safflower or grapeseed) oil in a sauté pan when hot add a few sage leaves, cook for about a few seconds on each side. When they stop sizzling remove and drain on paper towels sprinkle with sea salt. They should be crisp, try to not let them brown.
-Replace garlic with roasted garlic cloves.
-Add ½ Thai chili and replace milk with 1 cup coconut milk, garnish with fresh cilantro.
-If you substitute pumpkin you may need 2x's as much as pumpkins can contain a lot of water. And add a little honey or sugar as they aren't as sweet.
©Julie Logue-Riordan 2019
Copyright © Julie Logue Riordan, Cooking with Julie