Butternut Squash Soup in a Pumpkin

I tend to write about my baking adventures here on my blog, but after professing my undying love for pumpkin, I just have to tell you about this amazing soup that I made last week. When I saw the cover of Food Network Magazine with a pumpkin on the cover, I bought the magazine without even really noticing what the recipe was, knowing that it was probably going to be something amazing. I was not disappointed. What the photo was showing was actually a small sugar pumpkin, cut open and baked, and then filled with some homemade butternut squash soup.

I purchased all the components for the soup at the farmers’ market around the corner and, the other night, when both my roommate and I were home, I made it. Let me just say once again – I LOVE PUMPKIN! The soup was easy to make, although bear in mind that butternut squash can be rather difficult to cut through, so be careful of your fingers! I probably shouldn’t have baked the lids of the pumpkins as they started to wilt and will probably add some more sugar when they bake next time so they’re a little sweeter when you’re eating the soup.

I love butternut squash and now that I know how easy it is to make I going to have to make it all the time. I think I’m going to stock up on the butternut squash that is always front and center at the farmers’ market so that I can have it all year. A dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream goes a long way and having an immersion blender makes the whole process much easier.

Butternut Squash Soup in a Pumpkin

Adapted from the Food Network Magazine

INGREDIENTS:

for the bowls:

  • 4 small baking pumpkins (such as hooligan or sugar pie),acorn squash or sweet dumpling squash
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Kosher salt

for the soup:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 medium butternut or kuri squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons
  • heavy cream (optional)
  • Freshly groundpepper

optional toppings:

  • pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
  • sourdough and/or pumpernickelcroutons
  • paprika, chili powder or Spanish pimenton
  • fried onions
  • fried sage or parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2) Use a paring knife to cut a large circle around the stem of each pumpkin (make a zigzag cut, if desired). Remove the lid and scoop out the seeds and fibers.

3) Sprinkle the inside of each with 1/2 teaspoon each sugar and salt. Place the pumpkins and lids on a baking sheet; roast until tender, 20 to 35 minutes, depending on their size.

4) Meanwhile, make the soup: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt.

5) Strip the thyme leaves into the pot, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and sugar and cook, stirring, until glazed, 3 to 4 minutes.

6) Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

7) Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender, crack the lid to let steam escape and puree until smooth; return to the saucepan (or puree directly in the pan with an immersion blender).

8) Stir in the heavy cream, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, and top as desired.

 

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