What better way to warm up than with soup, right? Meet my dear friend Kate, whose family has had Cooks Illustrated passed around the kitchen for years and years. This Thanksgiving, her dad made a pumpkin soup for the holidays. She was inspired by his soup creation and decided to make some on her own, this time, Butternut Squash Soup. You can find the recipe below, with slight modification!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
- 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks (about 7 cups)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1leek, white and green parts only, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- 4c ups vegetable broth
- 1 – 2c ups water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (was not included because Kate didn’t want to buy a whole thing of thyme and use two small bits. I don’t blame her! It was still delish!)
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch cayenne pepper (a bit more than a pinch was used; I loved the kick!)
- Sour cream
1. Place squash in bowl, cover, and microwave until paring knife glides easily through flesh, 14 to 18 minutes, stirring halfway through. Carefully transfer squash to colander set in bowl (squash will be very hot) and drain for 5 minutes; reserve liquid.
2. Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, leek, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until squash pieces begin to break down and brown fond forms in bottom of pot, 10 to 13 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups broth and scrape bottom of pot to loosen and dissolve fond. Add remaining 2 cups broth, reserved squash liquid, 1 cup water, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and cayenne. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until leeks are fully tender, 6 to 7 minutes.
4. Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Working in batches, process soup in blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Return soup to clean pot and bring to simmer, thinning with up to 1 cup water to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve with dollop of sour cream. (Soup can be made up to 2 days in advance.)
I had a chance to sit down with Kate to enjoy this lovely soup over dinner and got to ask her a few questions.
Q1: What’s your favorite soup?
KB: Chili. Does that count as soup? If not, clam chowder.
Q2: Thing you want to do most in December?
KB: Host a holiday party. Last year, I had one and it was so fun!
Q3: Given that it’s themed for the holidays, what would be the drink of the night?
KB: Peppermint Schnapps. It would bring us back to our college days. (We laugh.)
EH: I wouldn’t mind some hot chocolate spiked with that!
Q4: If you could have on gift, any gift, this holiday season, what would it be?
KB: A new party dress – Kate Spade or J. Crew – and a marvelous event to wear it out to!
EH: Oh yes, that sounds marvelous. Mine is a DSLR camera. Hopefully, we get both of ours so I can join you at the event and take marvelous photos and document our night and your new dress!
That’s right. Get on your feet, out the door and buy some ingredients. This soup is something you can’t miss this winter season!