I love this soup in the fall and winter. To make it right, it will take some oven time for the squash. If you don’t have the time, the squash can be diced small and boiled in stock (chicken or vegetable). Roasting any vegetable just gives it so much more flavor.
(This post has been updated since my original post in 2010)
Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup
Total Time: ~3 hours
Prep Time: 20 – 30 minutes
Roasting the Squash:
- 1 Butternut Squash cut/split in half, seeds scooped out
- 1 Acorn Squash cut/split in half, seeds scooped out
- 1 TBS white pepper (you can use black pepper if you do not have white pepper)
- 2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 2 tsp Dried Thyme Leaves
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 TBS Olive oil (for roasting the vegetables)
- 1/2 stick of butter, melted.
Dollop of cream topping at serving time (optional)
- 2/3 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- 2 TBS cream
- 6 – 8 leaves fresh sage (use 1/2 TBS dried if you do not have fresh)
- 1 small garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp white pepper (black pepper is fine if you do not have white pepper)
- salt to taste
for topping: Blend all in blender, hand chopper. if you do not have, then dice the garlic and save as small as you can and hand mix. Taste, add more sage, salt or pepper if needed. You could also use about 1 tsp of ground ginger if you wish. Let refrigerate at least 2 hours or over night.
Making the Soup:
- ½ stick butter
- 1 small sweet spanish onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and rough dice
- 1 – 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme (leave in tact for easy removal)
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 4 cans Chicken Stock, Veggie Stock or combination of both
- 1 cup cream or half and half
- adjust salt to taste
Preheat Oven to 375
- Roasting the Squash: Place the squash, cut side up, on a baking sheet (for easy clean up, line the baking sheet with foil). Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, oregano on top of each squash half, place in oven.
- At this stage, start the dollop of cream for the topping so it has time to set in the refrigerator during the remaining cooking time.
- Melt the butter on the stove top over low heat
- Every 20 minutes baste the squash – use the oil/butter mixture that has formed in the wells too. This will keep it from drying out during roasting.
- The squash can take 1 – 2 hours depending on thickness and oven performance. After 1 hour, start checking for doneness with a fork. When you can easily slide a fork in and out (same consistency as for mashed potatoes), then they are done.
- When done, remove from the oven, cover with tin foil, and let cool to touch.
- Making the Soup: In a cold pan, add in any remaining butter and the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, thyme, pepper lightly saute over med-low heat. This takes about 10 minutes. You want the onions fairly clear and the ginger soft. While this is going – harvest the squash.
- When squash is safe to handle, remove squash pulp from skins, using a spoon, or if the skin starts to fall apart (good sign) and you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty, just run your fingers along the skin and the pulp will just fall off. Because it is messy, kids love this “chore”. Put the pulp in a bowl until ready to use.
- When onions are translucent and just starting to brown, add the squash to the pan. Stir while mashing to mix the ingredients. Let simmer for a couple of minutes while stirring to blend the flavors.
- Add the stock and dried sage, stir to combine until well mixed. Add more water or stock if not “soupy”. This is a thick soup, but it should still be a little runny at this stage.
- Let the soup simmer over low heat about 30 – 45 minutes, stirring every 5 – 10 minutes, as the pulp will settle to the bottom of the pan you want to prevent burning.
- Remove the Thyme sprigs and discard.
- Using a blender or food processor, blend the ingredients together (may need to do in batches). The soup will still be a bit chunky at this point. To gain a smother soup, pour the soup through a fine mesh strainer or food-mill pressing down on the pulp to extract as much flavor as possible.
- Return the soup to a clean pot. Add the cream, stir and continue to simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt, pepper or cream if needed.
Serve in a bowl with a dollop of the cream topping and perhaps a small sage or thyme leaf. Yum.
NOTE: You should be tasting at each step and adjusting seasoning as needed.
For a kick, you can add some hot pepper, cayenne, etc..
You can also just use one type of squash and not two if you wish.
If you are like me and love toasted pumpkin seeds, then, after scooping the seeds out of the squash, harvest the seeds, rinse, place on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, pepper or whatever seasonings you wish, roast in the oven with the squash (yes they can go in wet) for about 10 minutes. Check after 7 and stir just to be sure they do not burn.
You can use the toasted seeds as a topping on the soup for a texture contrast, either whole or a quick grind.