Ahhh…Autumn, such a lovely time of the year. Truly a time to enjoy the beautiful display of colour as the leaves display their beautiful hidden array of hues. There’s nothing like taking a trip up north to observe this wonderful display. However, a nice walk through the neighborhood, park , or just sitting in the back yard will suffice as well. My boys enjoy trips to the apple orchards where we gather delicious apples, drink warm cider and delight with those sweet treats — doughnuts! Then too, the weather is perfect for the Fall wardrobe of colorful sweaters, and fabrics of suede and leather to add a stylish look as you relish nice days spent outside in the crisp Fall air. However, there are a bevy of Fall soups to enjoy and today is such a day. Winter squash crops are abundant with a variety of versatile squash that are a natural partner to a number of vegetables and meats, and are conducive to great seasonings. Butternut Squash Soup is on the menu.
Topped with steamed snow crab; garnished with fresh thyme, chives, and perfectly pretty red zinnia pedals. I found that the flavor of the crab was such a beautiful complement to the sweetness of the squash
Time to choose our specimen, right next to a bevy of acorn squash. When choosing squash, look for those that are firm, hard, and without blemishes. Winter squash are harvested in the Fall when they are mature and their skins have hardened. If you grow them yourself, and want to store them for future use, be sure to leave part of the stems attached or they won’t keep very well. I think I may add a few varieties to my garden next year
Rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and fresh cracked black pepper, with a little butter added…then into a 400 F oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until it’s fork tender. Alternatively you could peel the squash with a good vegetable peeler and dice the squash. However, I find that roasting is much easier and less labor intensive
Next, I sautéed one medium onion for about 5 minutes until softened, then added fresh thyme and one bay leaf, salt and pepper, and continued to cook a few minutes longer to allow the herb flavors to diffuse into the onion
Next, the chicken stock (or low sodium broth if you like). 2 – 6 cups, depending upon the amount of squash you use. Add enough to get the right texture. For the one squash that I used, I added about 1 and 1/2 cup
Now just let it simmer for about 20 minutes to let the flavors of the onion, thyme, and bay leaf meld together. Afterwards remove the thyme and bay leaf and transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor (if you have an immersion blender, that’s even better), and blend until it is thick, creamy, and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a sauce pan and mix in 2 Tbsp of heavy cream. At this point give it a taste and add salt and pepper to taste and a little sugar to get that desired sweetness. The sweetness will be there, but you may want to accent it with a little sugar Now ladle into your favorite serving bowls and enjoy!