This is a very simple "bisque" style soup, that ALWAYS goes over well at dinner parties. I've had multiple friends who "hate squash" devour this soup while in complete shock that their taste buds agree with *gasp* SQUASH! ... This recipe is truly one that will have the naysayers re-considering their feelings for squash. You can use just about any variety of squash, as well as pumpkin for this recipe, but I find that butternut is the best squash to start with. It's easy to love it's naturally sweet flesh, and requires minimal seasoning, but can be fancied up as you like.
Here are the basics:
- Squash (Butternut preferably)
- Water and/or Milk
- A Blender
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Here are some optional additions:
- Your choice of oil - I like olive, canola or coconut
- Garlic! - We like lots of roasted garlic in my household
- Your choice of herbs and spices
Some of my favorite garnish options:
- Sour cream
- Green onions
- Parmesan Cheese
The first step is to bake the squash. I sometimes like to roast other veggies and herbs to add some extra flavor, but it's not necessary. Some of my favorite additions are garlic, onions, sweet red peppers and rosemary - but this is completely up to you, you really don't have to add anything as the butternut squash is so delicious on it's own.
Cut each butternut squash into slices about 1.5" to 2" thick. Remove the seeds, and set them aside for later. Spread the squash slices out on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and seasonings if you wish, and Bake at 325F for about 1hr or until easily pierced with a fork. If you are in a hurry, you can cook them on a higher temperature as well, but I find that I get a more even roast at a lower temperature. When the squash is ready, lay it out to cool for a few minutes so it's easier to handle.
Once it's cooled down some, you can easily peel the skin off and discard it. I like to blend the squash with a mixture of half milk & half water, but you can adjust the quantities to your personal preference. The nice thing with this is that you can start the blender with a small amount of squash and liquid, and then taste and adjust as you go.
Once you get to a nice "bisque" type consistency, all that's left to do is warm it up again before serving.
I like to serve this soup as is and let everyone add whatever they like to taste. I usually provide salt, pepper, sour cream, Parmesan cheese and croutons as condiment options, and green onions or chives make for a nice garnish.
I'm also a big fan of buying large quantities of squash when it's on sale, and then making enough soup to freeze for future meals.
To save space in the freezer, I'll often times just skip out on the milk and only add enough water so I'm able to blend squash. Then when it's time to thaw and re-heat, I can add more liquid to the soup "concentrate", season to taste, and enjoy!
As a good rule of thumb, I would allow for 6-8oz of soup per person as an appetizer, or 12oz per person as a main dish. Once again, you can adjust the amounts depending on your needs.
Also, don't forget about those squash seeds, which also make for a delicious snack! Just pat dry, then season as you please - oil, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder or whatever else you like. Roast at 275°F for about half an hour, or until the seeds start to make popping sounds and are nicely browned and crunchy. I love having a bowl of roasted seeds around when I'm feeling snacky - They are crunchy, salty, delicious and packed with fiber and protein! What's not to love?!
Let us know what you think, and we'd love to hear about any delicious variations you may have come up with for your own soup recipes! ENJOY!