That’s right. Another recipe involving fall foods. Well, guess what? It’s fall, and butternut squash was on sale at Kroger yesterday for $.39/pound, so that’s what you get.
On the bright side this soup, while unplanned, tastes really darn good. And there’s plenty for leftovers!
Note: This recipe can easily be halved, but why would you do that? Quantities shown below give enough soup to feed 10 people a substantial amount, or have a lot for leftovers! Handily, squash soup can be frozen and reheated and still taste just fine!
Note #2: The following may seem like a lot of steps, dishes, utensils, or ingredients compared to what I usually go for. This is not an illusion. This recipe is really simple, but does require a small amount of elbow grease and spice-cabinet variety. Don’t let that dissuade you from trying it though! Your guests/family will like it, and the sheer amount of leftovers merits the effort. See?
Note #3: Hold on, now! I’ll get to the recipe in a minute, but this is important. The recipe calls for chicken. And chicken broth. Neither is required—I am certain veggie stock would be just fine for this purpose if you are vegetarian. If you do use chicken, however, the poaching method I’ve linked to is absurdly easy and produces as much chicken as you want which you can then freeze and use later for other great things like quesadillas or fried rice!
Note #4: I know, I know. You’re getting pissed with all the waiting. Well too bad, because I call the shots here. I’m the decider, darnit! Anyway, if you notice the asterisks next to all the spices, that’s because I of course did not measure them. I estimated. Important: do not oversalt this complexly flavored soup. If your diners like really salty food, they can easily add it themselves, but salt is something you cannot take out once you’ve added it, because it dissolves. Which reminds me of an awesome science joke that I will probably relate (surely to your dismay) at some point in the future.
Now, then: soup!
Fall Squash Soup
2 butternut squash (2 to 3lb each)
2 small white onions
1 can fat-free chicken broth
1/4 C heavy cream
2 tbsp brown sugar
*1 1/2 tsp roasted ground coriander
*1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp sage
*1/2 tsp thyme
*1/2 tsp bay leaves
*2 tsp parsley
2lb poached chicken (hold the garlic)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350F. Slice squash in half lengthwise (ideally using a bigger knife than the one I used, because it was a huge pain in the… anyway) and place cut-side-down onto a cookie sheet. Peel onions and wrap in tinfoil with 1 tbsp olive oil or 1 tbsp butter on top. Put onions on top of squash and bake for about an hour, until squash skin browns slightly and loosens from squash meat. (Pretty obvious, but if you’re unsure, stick a fork in the thickest part of the squash—any resistance means it’s not done yet.)
Step 2: Peel squash and toss into (big) pot. This makes a lot of soup, so a saucepan won’t really cut it. Unwrap onions and chop to your preferred size; throw into pot. Open your can of chicken broth; throw into pot. Add cream and turn burner to medium heat. Note: cream probably not necessary, but SO delicious.
Step 3: Using a wooden spoon, mix everything together while mashing up squash (should be really easy). Soup will be QUITE thick, so dilute with water if you want it a bit thinner. I probably added about 2 chicken-broth-cans’ worth of water, which gave a very thick soup. Photographer Extraordinaire Craig Glick Miller added more, as you can see above. Stir in sugar and all the spices. If you have roasted ground coriander (instead of just the regular dried kind), take a whiff. Complex amazing odors all over the kitchen! Now WASH and shred the turnip greens by hand—add as much as you would like, but I went with about six full stalks (toss the stems). Once soup starts to boil, cut it back to medium-low and simmer.
Step 4: If you haven’t poached/shredded the chicken, do it now. If you already have, wait about 15 minutes for the soup to simmer before adding the chicken. Stir in chicken and cover, simmering on low. After 30 more minutes (and up to several hours of simmering—just add more water if it gets too thick), soup will be ready to serve. I didn’t garnish, but if you do, I’d recommend a few parmesan shavings or croutons (real ones, not the disgusting salty no-expiration-date kind).
Serving recommendations: this is a hearty enough soup that, with a small hunk of bread, it will suffice as an entree. If you want to get all fancy with it, serve with a sprig of parsley on top OR, if you want to get REALLY fancy with it, leave out the cream and serve with a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream in the middle. Makes for very nice leftovers, and will last for a week in the fridge. It will also freeze just fine, which is good because this recipe makes about 20 servings.
Until next gourd… I mean, time…