Saturday, October 9, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

When the weather turns cool, I love to make soup and I think this is my most favorite to make. It is simple and tastes amazing. Although the butternut is the main ingredient, surprisingly it isn't the star of the soup. To me, it's the fresh sage that accentuates the squash in such a delicious way that if I can't find fresh sage, I won't even bother to make this soup. Served as a starter before dinner or whether alongside a yummy grilled sandwich, I can guarantee that you will love this soup.

- one 3 pound butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (5 to 6 cups)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped (about 6 large leaves)
- 6 cups chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in oven for 15 minutes. Turn cubes over and roast for 15 minutes more or until the squash begins to golden and caramelize. Set aside.

In a large stockpot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and sage and saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are translucent and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the squash and broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the soup mixture in either a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pot to keep warm.

Sage - a soft and furry herb, it is as tasty as it is beautiful

If you don't have time to deal with a full on squash, you can sometimes find it already cubed at the store. I know that in the States, Trader Joe's sells them ready to go. But just make sure that you do not skip the roasting process since this brings out such a nice flavor in the squash.

Delicious! You can always freeze some to save for another rainy day.

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