Friday, May 3, 2013
Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, which she adapted from America's Test Kitchen
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, diced fine
1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, cut in half lengthwise, with the seeds and strings scraped out and reserved
4 cups water
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup half and half or heavy cream
1 teaspoon brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg
1. In a large Dutch oven, melt the butter and add the diced shallot. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes over medium-low heat until softened, but not browned. Add the squash scrapings and seeds and cook until the butter is saffron colored, about 4 minutes.
2. Add water and salt to the Dutch oven, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low again. Cut squash halves in half cross-wise. Place a steamer basket in the Dutch oven and the squash in the steamer basket, cut sides down. Cover pot and simmer for about 30minutes until squash is fork tender. Remove the pot from the heat. Use tongs to remove the squash from the steamer basket and transfer to a plate or baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the skins and put in a bowl. Discard the skins.
3. Strain the hot cooking liquid through a mesh strainer into a second bowl. Discard the solids. Rinse and dry the pot.
4. Puree the squash in batches in a food processor or blender, adding some of the cooking liquid until it has a smooth consistency. Pour puree into the pot; add the cream, and brown sugar and more cooking liquid if needed and heat the soup over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes until hot. Do not boil. Add a pinch of cinnamon and salt to taste. Stir, taste, and adjust seasoning if needed. Serve in bowls with a another pinch of cinnamon. Delicious!