We all have those certain recipes that signal the start of a new season or time of year. For me, fall means this butternut squash soup. I make it every October, mostly because it is very easy and requires minimal ingredients. The flavor here comes from the roasting process, so don't skip that step and buy cooked squash. An immersion blender works wonders here.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple (about 8 ounces)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- Olive oil
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub the non-melted piece of butter all over the squash evenly). Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, peel, core and cut the apple into medium dice. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple, onion and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sauteed apples and onions; discard the skins.
- Add the broth, water and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
- Using a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off). Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- To make the pumpkin seeds: Place seeds in a small pan over medium-high heat with a splash of olive oil and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly brown and fragrant. Turn off heat, salt lightly and set aside. Sprinkle a handful on top of each serving of soup. Serves 6 to 8.