After several very full months: school, work, applications, internships, volunteering etc, we got some seriously needed R&R. I grabbed at the opportunity to spend time with family, stay in bed and eat great home cooked food. We had a very low key New Years, spend up in Sonoma with my sister and her boyfriend J. Bug and I love going to Sonoma. Its beautiful, crisp air, starry sky and AMAZING wine is very relaxing. The four of us and three dogs rang in the new years with some great food, a nice walk and clinking of champagne glasses at midnight. I was in bed before 2am happy to be surrounded by family.
The next day we went for a nice hike after which Bug asked for soup, butternut squash soup. It was the perfect food for the cold and sunny day.
Let me start by warning you that this butternut squash soup is not for the weak of heart. I’m not sure you could make this soup less healthy if you tried, but it was OH so delicious, very manly and definitely Bug and J approved.
This recipe came entirely from my imagination and as I cooked it, I saw a million ways to modify it, make it healthy or vegetarian. And while I had no soup left, I would think it will freeze well. Try it and make sure to let me know what you think!
The color of the soup is not what one is used to seeing with butternut squash soup. I choose to use beef stock rather than the traditionally used chicken stock to give the soup a more meaty flavor (per Bugs request). Trust me its delicious!
- 1 large butter nut squash cubed
- 1/3 cup pancetta or pork joules
- 5-6 shallots (I had really small ones, you can also use onion)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon curry
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 (or more) cups beef stock
- 1/2-3/4 cups cream (more for serving)
- two whole heads of garlic roasted
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Note: I used a 7.5 quart cast iron dutch oven when cooking this soup
- Start by cutting off the tops of your heads of garlic pouring some olive oil on them and wrapping them in tin foil. Throw them in the oven at 400F to roast.
- Peel, core and cube your squash.
- Mince the shallots.
- My sister didn't have any pancetta and neither did the local store. She did have smoke joule from the local butcher. Delicious and a perfect substitute. Cut up whatever you use into small pieces.
- First throw in the joules(pancetta) and let them cook down on medium-low heat and get crispy. Than remove and set aside.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the curry and cumin. Let them cook for a minute and get pungent.
- Add the shallots.Let them cook down for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the squash, turn the heat up to medium and cover with a lid. Let the squash cook for about 10 minutes and brown on one side. Than lift the lid,mix squash and let it cook for another ten minutes. My sister's cast iron got very hot, so I had to keep watchful eye on the squash.
- Check the roasting garlic and see if its done. It will be soft and caramelized around the edges when its ready. I haven't really been able to nail down a cooking time for the garlic, so I just check on it every so often.
- Once the squash is tender add a cup of beef stock. Simmer until most of the stock is absorbed.
- Then I added two more cups of stock and pureed the squash. I used an immersion blender, if you don't own one you can use a traditional blender or food processor, with the added step of transferring back and forth.
- Add additional stock until the soup is of desired consistency. I added one more cup.
- Next add the cream. If you do not care to use cream you can simply add more stock. Definitely would make the soup lighter.
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Finally take a roasted head of garlic, squeeze it out into the soup and puree a bit more to combine. The garlic is very mushy at this point so you can simply stir it in.
- Serve soup with cream drizzled on top and small heap of crispy pancetta or joules. Being a garlic lover I squeezed the other head of garlic into a dish and served as a side as well. It was well received.
You can use vegetable stock instead of beef stock and eliminate the joules/pancetta to make the soup vegetarian.
You can also add more stock or cream to further thin out the soup, depending on your preference.