Winter Squash Soup

The winter squash at the farmer’s market have been luring me to their tables. I love their colors, their shapes, and end up bringing them home. This time I had a specific plan for them, sometimes I don’t. One butternut squash and one acorn squash. You could probably use any variety for this soup and it would still be amazing. My husband is not a picky eater. He very rarely says he does not like a certain food. But he does not like butternut squash soup. He says it’s too sweet, he can’t eat more than a cup of it – so I avoid making it. But this recipe gave me hope! Maybe it was the cumin, or the abundance of fresh sage and thyme (which I added way more than the recipe called for, by the way, because they just smelled so dang good) – I decided to make it. He came home from work and said, “The house smells great, what are you making?” I told him. He groaned. Like I was talking to my children, I said, “Just try it! You might like this one.” He tried it. And guess what? He enjoyed it! I hope you will, too.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 butternut squash, roasted and peeled
  • 1 acorn squash, roasted and peeled
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (I probably tripled this and the sage!)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD:
1. Roast both of the squashes on an oiled, parchment-lined cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven, until squash is soft and tender, about 30 minutes.
2. While squash is roasting, in a stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir often to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn.
3. Once onions and garlic are softened, add in the chicken broth, and the peeled and roasted squash and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat to low, add in the fresh thyme and sage, the cumin, ginger, salt and pepper. Simmer until squash is very tender, at least 20 minutes.  I let my soup simmer most of the afternoon just to meld all the ingredients together.
5. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender/food processor, or use an immersion blender. Return the soup to the same pot. Stir in the cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Note:  This soup, like most, can be made a day ahead. Refrigerate and rewarm over medium heat. It would also be a great soup to freeze in batches to save for a rainy day. Literally.

 

*Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
**Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
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