Butternut Squash & Ginger Soup
I'm going through a soup phase. For the entirety of my life, I've shunned soup, insisting that I prefer to chew my calories and yet here I am, writing about soup. I'll admit, I was wrong. (Don't tell my husband I said that.) I wasn't entirely wrong (I never am) but in these 30 degrees in November weathers, sometimes you just need a big bowl of warmth.
I love this recipe because it uses very few ingredients and focuses more on technique to build flavor. That being said, don't skimp on the details of this recipe. Allow your vegetables to roast until they've begun to brown, which will bring sweetness to the soup. Cook your onions low and slow over a medium heat to ensure they don't burn. Using a homemade chicken stock, as I did, will further enhance the flavors, though it is by no means necessary to the success of this soup. And though I haven't tried it I suspect this soup and flavor profile would work well with all different kinds of squash and root vegetables, so by all means, get creative.
Serves 5 as an appetizer
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of sugar
5 - 6 cups of chicken stock
1 tsp turmeric
1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled.
1 tsp cardamom
6 sprigs of thyme, intact.
salt to taste
Pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Place peeled and chopped carrots and squash on a baking sheet and season with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and salt to taste. Roast the vegetables in your preheated oven until slightly brown, about 40 minutes. Check on the vegetables about every 15 min and flip them to ensure even browning. If one side of the baking sheet is cooking faster than the other, rotate the baking sheet to make sure everything cooks evenly.
3. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Dice the onion and mince garlic and add both the pot. Sprinkle with just a pinch of sugar and stir to evenly coat the onions and garlic. Cover the pot and allow the onions to brown while the vegetables roast, stirring often to make sure the onions don't stick to the pan.
4. Once the vegetables have begun to brown remove them from the oven and transfer them into the pot with the onions. While the baking sheet is still hot pour a little broth or water over it and use a spoon or spatula to scrape up any brown bits that might be left on the pan. Transfer the brown bits to the pot with the vegetables as well.
5. Add the chicken stock to the pot along with the turmeric, ginger, cardamom and thyme sprigs. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until just boiling. Once boiling, remove from heat and remove the thyme sprigs from the pot.
6. Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture so that the soup is creamy and smooth and there are no vegetable chunks left. Alternatively, you can transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and blend that way. Once blended taste the soup and adjust salt as needed.
7. Garnish individual servings with about 1 tsp of pumpkin seeds.
**To reheat the soup make sure you heat it slowly over a medium heat and bring it just to a simmer. If you bring it to a boil the liquid will reduce and it will be thicker than a soup.