Thursday, October 8, 2009

In the mood for soup...

I made this last weekend with warm ham and cheese sandwiches on the side. It's October and I felt like eating something that just screamed Fall, even though it was still 90 degrees outside (that's Florida for ya). So, Mango and I looked to the trusty A/C to make it as cold as possible in the house. This was the first time I had ever come close to cooking with any kind of squash in it's natural form. Usually, it's already all nice and pureed for me in a can. There I was at the grocery store weighing an actual butternut squash in all it's glory, trying to pick the "prettiest" one I could find. I am proud to report that I was successful and the soup was delicious. Perfect for a natural or artificial chilly day ;-)

*Before you start the recipe, I advise that you follow this method for properly peeling and seeding the squash. I didn't use the recipe because I wanted something a little thicker, but her method was great. It makes it so much easier, plus the house smells like butternut afterwards.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Parmesan Croutons
Serves 6-8
Recipe via Cooking Light
WW points: 6 pts. (1c. with the croutons)

1 3-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (5 to 6 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
3 stalks of celery, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (about 6 large leaves)
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the pepper. Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Turn the cubes over and continue roasting for 15 minutes or until they are caramelized; set aside.

In a Dutch oven or a large stockpot, heat the butter and the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and sage and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent and tender, 10 minutes. Add the squash, broth, and the remaining salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the liquid is flavorful. Remove from heat. Using a blender or a food processor, blend the soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pot and keep warm. Top with Sage and Parmesan Croutons and the grated Parmesan

For the Croutons:
3 ounces rustic white bread (about 3 thick slices), tom into 24 1-inch pieces
1 large clove garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (about 6 large leaves)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl to coat. Spread the bread evenly on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.


The Townhouselady said...

That looks so good I can practically taste it.