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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

For day 30 of Soup Month 2012, we have a rich and creamy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with a little garnish of popcorn on top.  This is a great seasonal soup and it would be ideal to serve for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor and combines nicely with savory seasonings.  It can even be used to make a great vegan lasagna, (more on that later).  The base of this soup uses a white wine and herb broth, coriander and just a touch of cayenne pepper for a little background spice, with a dash of cream to add a silky texture.

Many people don't cook with butternut squash because it's a little tough to work with, and I admit I was a little intimidated as I tried to figure out how to chop this squash.  It was actually pretty simple.  I used a large knife, cut the squash into pieces, then used the knife to carefully slice off the outer shell.  Some people use a potato peeler to prepare squash, but it just doesn't work as well as a good knife.

Since this was my first attempt at cooking butternut squash I was not sure what to expect from the combination of flavors, but I was very pleased with the results.  This soup was rich and creamy and quite filling, and I loved the flavor of the white wine broth.  If you're serving turkey or ham this Thanksgiving, this soup would make a beautiful first course.  Enjoy!!

1-1/2 tsp  Ground Coriander
1 tsp  Sugar
1/2 tsp  Ground Cayenne Pepper
2 TB  Olive Oil
3 lb  Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 3/4 cups  College Inn White Wine and Herb Broth
3 TB  Butter
1/2 cup  Half and Half
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  White Pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  In a large bowl combine coriander, sugar, cayenne pepper and olive oil.  Stir to combine, then add the pieces of squash to the bowl and stir to coat.

Spread pieces of squash onto a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and brown on the edges.

Transfer the squash to a blender, add the broth and half and half , then puree until smooth.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, then add the pureed squash to the pan and stir.  Add salt and white pepper to the soup, stir and adjust seasonings further, if needed.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a few pieces of popcorn and serve.  Enjoy!!

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