Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Because I am recovering from a knee replace along with my friend Joy, I think of things I want to do, but really can’t. So, I dream of walking in the woods on a crisp day. The trees are yellow and red and gold. A light breeze is blowing the leaves into a dance at my feet. The squirrels are playing in the trees; they are of course a bit plump as they eat their way towards winter. As I near the car, my steps move a little faster.

Now my haste is not to plump up for winter, but to heat up a bowl of butternut squash soup, slice a loaf of sourdough bread and slather that with real butter for a soul-satisfying meal. The last farmers market had all kinds of wonderful squash and a fat squirrel-bodied butternut caught my eye. Therefore, I thought I might share with you a favorite fall soup. And, if you don’t have butternut squash, that’s okay – this can be made with other kinds of squash.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (Serves 4)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 carrot sliced
1 cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable stock
1-1/2 cup roasted butternut squash (everyone has their own way of roasting vegetables and if you don’t, contact me through the Co-op)

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion, celery, carrot and cinnamon stick and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
Simmer for several minutes, then add the squash and simmer for 15-20 more minutes to allow flavors to meld.
Allow to cool and discard cinnamon stick.
Puree soup in a blender in small batches (or use an immersion blender right in the pan) until smooth.
Return soup to pan and reheat.
To serve, garnish with a drizzle of crème fraiche* (see recipe below) and a sprinkle of fresh chives or scallions if desired.

Crème Fraiche
To make crème fraiche, combine 2 cups of heavy cream
with 2 tablespoons of cultured buttermilk or sour cream in a saucepan. Heat very lightly, until the instant read thermometer reads 85F. Transfer into a clean container. Cover the container and let it sit at room temperature (65F to 75F) for about 8 to 24 hours, or until thickened. The crème will keep about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

*You can also substitute sour crème, Greek plain yogurt, or crème Mexicana for the crème fraiche.

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