My two favorite things about autumn are: seeing the beautiful leaves and soup season. The cold weather now makes it legal again to make soup! I admit it is my favorite things to cook. Not the I-pulled-out-a-can-of-campbells soup, but homemade, smell-the-simmering-goodness-all-the-way-upstairs soups.
On my quest to find the perfect butternut squash soup, I came across this recipe (well a version of this recipe-i made it better). Why would I be searching for something like that, you ask? Well, it just so happens that my counter is taken over by butternut squash every autumn and I get the fun task of finding ways to use it. I really don't mind, I like a challenge...and it's yummy :)
My mind was stuck in a rut that butternut squash soup should incorporate apples. It just made sense. The autumn flavors should go perfect together, blending sweet with wonderfulness that is butternut squash. Unfortunately, I've tried several versions but had yet to find the recipe that balanced it well-they often turned out too apple-y or blah. This recipe, however, used orange. I resisted the idea for a while, immediately thinking of ways to change it to apple, but then I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. Oh Happy Day. I was actually impressed with the flavor combinations there. The red pepper stuff gave it an extra little flair that I enjoyed. I will use this recipe now, until I find another one that seems close to the perfect one conjured up in my imagination.
Try it out...it's pretty easy, too! (and doesn't require any special equipment)
Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium size butternut squash
2 TBSP olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped onions (I used combo of red, white and green)
4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice (juice the orange you used for the zest)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup roasted red pepper sauce or soup (i just used pre-made soup)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Cut butternut squash in half and lay in baking dish, facing up. Brush with olive oil and bake in oven at 475 degrees for 45 min. When done, scoop out flesh with spoon. Saute garlic and onions w/olive oil in a large saute pan until soft. Add chicken broth, orange juice and butternut squash flesh. Bring to a boil. Puree soup with food processor or blender (I used a handheld blender right in the pot). Add thyme and most of orange zest. Add a dollop of sour cream and red pepper sauce and swirl in. Garnish with a few red pepper flakes, fresh thyme sprigs and reserved zest. Makes 5-6, 1 cup servings.