Thursday, November 20, 2008

Easy Butternut Squash Soup

The best butternut squash soup I've ever had was at the Museum of Fine Arts cafe here in Boston. I haven't been able to find a recipe like it, but this one is pretty good, too, and probably healthier. I just roast a squash with onion and garlic, and whiz it in the food processor. And don't skimp on the cream: trust me, it's a small amount and it's better with.
Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash
1 small yellow onion,quartered
1 head garlic
2½ cups chicken broth
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°. Roast your squash one of two ways. Slice it lengthwise, unpeeled, and scoop out the seeds; then place it face-down on a baking tray (you can lightly oil the cut side if you're not using a silicone mat). Or dice the squash, peeled, into bite-sized cubes, and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil. Use a very sharp knife, since the squash is hard to cut.

Place the garlic on a sheet of foil and drizzle with a bit of olive oil, then wrap up the garlic in the foil. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the onion quarters as well. Place the onion and garlic on the baking sheet, and roast all the vegetables for an hour, until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork (the halved squash might take an extra 15 minutes).
When the vegetables have cooled a bit, remove half of the roasted cloves from the head of garlic, and out of their skins. Puree them with the onion and about 5 cups of the squash (you can increase quantities of the other ingredients if you have more squash) in a blender or food processor. You may need to add half of the chicken broth if the blade gets stuck. Pour the puree into a pot, adding the rest of the chicken broth, and heat the soup. Add the nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the cream. Serve with a crusty piece of bread, spread with some of the remaining roasted garlic, if you like.

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