I love the seeing the leaves change and feeling the temperature drop slightly. It is fall, the season of crisp days and cool nights. The smell of warm mulled apple cider with fragrant cinnamon, clove and allspice is unparallel in my mind. It is also my favorite season to create food in. After a summer of beautiful New Jersey tomatoes, corn & peaches, there is nothing I look forward to more then getting different kinds of apples, squashes, and cabbages to use for our menu. Butternut squash soup is a staple of the fall season in most restaurants. Roasted squash has a delicate flavor; slightly earthy and mildly sweet. In order to capture that flavor of the squash one must not cover, but accompany this delicate flavor. Here is a simple recipe to help those at home make a great soup. I hope you enjoy!
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
3 Medium butternut squash, cut in half, seeds removed (reserve for later)
_ Teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Cup of heavy cream (optional)
1 Large white onion, cut in small pieces
1 Rib celery, cut in small pieces
3 Quarts water
1 Bay leaf
1 Sprig thyme
_ Stick cinnamon
1 Clove, whole
1 Tablespoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Place butternut squash flesh side up on a cookie sheet.
3. Mix the melted butter, nutmeg and honey together, and brush the mixture on the squash. Season with _ Tablespoon salt.
4. Wrap the squash in foil and bake for approximately 30 minutes then remove the foil and continue to bake until tender.
5. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed sauce pot, make a squash stock by combining the water, the reserved squash seeds and all other spices. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes.
6. After the stock is flavorful and slightly reduced, strain through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve for later.
7. When the roasted squash has cooled slightly, using a large spoon, remove the flesh from the skin. The skin may be discarded.
8. In a blender combine the roasted squash, squash stock and heavy cream (optional). Puree until smooth and creamy.
9. Adjust consistency with some water, if desired and season with remaining salt.
The soup may be garnished with some toasted pumpkin seeds or julienne pear if desired