Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

From “Seasonal Recipes” Fall 2009

Makes 6–8 servings

When the butternut squash are in season and plentiful, it also happens to be soup time. Roasting butternut squash in the skin brings out its flavor and makes it easy to scoop out the flesh. This soup can easily adapt to vegetarian or vegan diets by replacing the butter with olive oil, leaving out the pancetta and skipping the crème fraiche garnish.

  • 2 butternut squash, about 2 pounds each
  • Butter or olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced pancetta (optional)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5–6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Optional garnish: a little crème fraiche or plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut off the stem of the squash and then cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. In a roasting pan, place the squash cut side up with a little pat of butter or a drizzle of olive oil over each piece. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1½ to 2 hours or until completely cooked through.

In a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, sauté the pancetta and onion (or just the onion in some olive oil) until lightly browned.Scoop the flesh from the roasted squash and add it to the pot. Add 5 cups of the broth and the ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and, using a hand immersion blender, purée the soup until it is smooth and creamy. If it is too thick, add up to a cup more of the broth. Taste and add more seasoning, if necessary. Return to low heat and simmer for a couple minutes until heated through.

Serve garnished with the crème fraiche or yogurt and an extra dash of freshly ground pepper.

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