It was a dark and stormy late summer morning. The wind was blowing the blinds and clanging the chimes. We turned the heat on for the first time in months. Soup, hot comforting soup was on my mind. Then I saw it. The gorgeous, almost 5 pound buttercup squash sitting on the kitchen counter. It came home with me just a few days before from the farmers’ market. Hmm, I had a plan for a deeply nurturing, richly textured Roasted Buttercup Squash Soup.
Kind of inspired by and adapted from my favorite recipe for Country-Style Leek & Potato Soup, this recipe evolved during the process of preparing it. This is a very easy soup made with only a few ingredients providing great depth of flavor.
Feel free to substitute an onion for the leeks and another winter squash such as butternut or kabocha for the buttercup. And adjust the salt and pepper and consistency to your taste.
Here’s another soup starring winter squash you might enjoy: Winter Squash Soup w/ Apple & Ginger
BTW We’re in New York City!
We’re spending the week with our new grandbaby and his parents. We’re also enjoying some of the many tastes and delights that New York City and Brooklyn have to offer. I’ll share some highlights of our trip with you after our return. . . .
Makes 12 cups of soup
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
4 ½-5 pounds buttercup squash or another winter squash
7 ½ cups Easy & Basic Vegetable Stock (recipe below), divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups leeks, sliced into 1/8th inch rounds
OR 1 large onion cut into ½-inch chunks
3 four-inch sprigs fresh thyme
1 four-inch sprig fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons salt if using unsalted vegetable stock
Dozen twists freshly ground pepper
1 cup blanched, slivered almonds
Thinly sliced chives
Fresh thyme leaves
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the buttercup squash. Cut it in half and remove the seeds. Place it cut side down on parchment paper on a baking pan. Bake the squash 30-45 minutes till just tender.
While the squash is cooking prepare the Easy & Basic Vegetable Stock (recipe below) or use prepared stock.
When the squash is done, put it aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice 3 cups of it and set aside. Peel and roughly chop the remaining squash. You should have about 5 ½-6 cups of roughly chopped squash.
For the soup, pour the oil into a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot stir in the sliced leeks or onion. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until just beginning to color. Stir in the fresh thyme and rosemary and cook another minute.
Add the 5 ½-6 cups roughly chopped squash to the pot. Stir in 5 cups vegetable stock and the salt and pepper. Cover the pan and simmer the soup for 10 minutes.
Prepare the almond milk: Blend together the slivered almonds and 2 cups of vegetable stock for 4 minutes until smooth.
Remove the herb stalks from the soup, leaving behind the leaves. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot. Or puree the soup in batches in a regular blender and return it to the pot. Stir in the almond milk and the reserved 3 cups of diced squash. Cook the soup at a simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste. Add additional stock if the soup is too thick.
Serve garnished with fresh chives and thyme leaves.
Easy & Basic Vegetable Stock
Makes about 8 cups
Dark green ends from the leeks OR 1 onion cut into 1” chunks
2 carrots cut into ½-inch rounds
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 large bay leaves
2 large sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
12 cups water
Put everything into a large soup pot. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat so the stock simmers for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Strain the stock through a fine strainer.
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