We love butternut squash. I've tried multiple butternut squash soup recipes, some sweet, some spicy, and this version is my favorite. I've been making this version for a while, and it is a soup that David requests every year as soon as butternut squash is abundant, and I make it at least twice a season.
While we're on the subject of favorites, I thought I'd take a moment to extol the virtues of my immersion blender. I've only ever had one immersion blender in my lifetime, and we've only been together for about 4 years, but I'm deeply in love with it, and I will never give it up. I received the empire-red KitchenAid immersion blender (which matches my equally fabulous 5Plus-quart Professional KitchenAid mixer) as a Christmas gift from my parents. It is the gift that keeps on giving! Prior to being united with this fabulous piece of equipment, I blended my soups in my cheap blender; I always ended up making a mess, and my soup was never as consistently smooth as I'd prefer. It was a challenge moving hot soup into the blender, and a pain to divide the soup and blend in batches. I dirtied the initial pot I cooked the soup in, the blender, another separate pot or bowl that I dumped the pureed batches into, a ladle, a spatula, and most of the counter space I was working on (and sometimes, I had to wipe up the floor, because I'm a total slob).
Now that I have my immersion blender, I am positive that I will never live without one again. I dirty ONE POT and just the blending attachment (which handily snaps off for washing). The variable speed options are perfect for starting out the blending process nice and slow, and then cranking it up to speed things along. This makes for WAY less mess, and I'm all for less cleaning.
This Christmas, I purchased the black KitchenAid immersion blender for my Mom. I hope she loves it as much as I love mine!*
Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlic Soup
This recipe serves 4-6 with plenty of leftovers.
- Olive oil
- 4lbs butternut squash, quartered and seeded
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled (or less if you want a more subtle flavor)
- 2-3 cups chicken broth ( I like Pacific Natural Goods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth)
- 1/2 cup milk (optional)
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Pinch of herbs de Provence, or rosemary and sage.
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven t o 375degrees. Place squash, cut side down, in a large glass baking dish (or two) coated with olive oil. Place garlic cloves under the hollow area of the seeded squash, so as not to burn the garlic. Pierce the skins of the squash with a fork.
Bake until squash is tender, skin is wrinkled, and the edges of the squash start looking caramelized, approximately 1 hour. Remove pan from oven and let squash and garlic cool completely.
Once cool, remove skin from squash with a knife, discarding as little flesh as possible. Place squash flesh and garlic in a medium pot. Add 2 cups of chicken broth, a pinch each of nutmeg and herbs, and puree with an immersion blender until soup is smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender and work with the broth, squash and garlic in batches and then transfer the blended soup to your pot.
Heat soup on low burner and add 1/2 cup of milk (optional), stirring to combine. Allow soup to heat through, stirring occasionally. Adjust soup to your taste, adding more broth to thin, or more herbs. However, the flavor of the garlic and squash should prevail!
It's up to you how smooth and thick you like your soup. I prefer this soup to be almost uniformly smooth and on the thicker side, but not so thick that it reminds me of baby food. If I don't have milk in the fridge, I skip it altogether. Let your soup heat up completely prior to adjusting your flavors with herbs and the salt and pepper, as the flavors need time to meld in the pot...and speaking from experience, you can over season this soup. Be patient, and taste often!
*All this positive feedback on the KitchenAid blender is purely my own opinion. I was not contacted by KitchenAid to provide any feedback on their equipment. I just love this immersion blender and I wanted to share.