Butternut Squash Soup

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 pounds butternut squash, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeds and stringy fibers scraped with spoon and reserved (1/4 cup), and each half cut into quarters
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar

Directions

Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until foaming subsides; add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add squash scrapings and seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes.  Add 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, place squash cut side down in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot.  cover and steam until squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes.  Off heat, use tongs to transfer squash to rimmed baking sheet; reserve steaming liquid.  When cool enough to handle, use large spoon to scrape flesh from skin into medium bowl; discard skin.

Pour reserved steaming liquid through mesh strainer into second bowl; discard solids in strainer.  Rinse and dry Dutch oven.

In blender, puree squash and reserved liquid in batches, pulsing on low until smooth.  Transfer puree to Dutch oven; stir in cream and sugar and heat over medium-low heat until hot.  Add salt to taste; serve immediately.

Serve with buttered cinnamon-sugar croutons.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove crusts from 2 slices of hearty white bread and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  Toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon melted butter.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Add cinnamon sugar mixture to bread cubes and toss to coat thoroughly.  Spread cubes in even layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet; bake until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

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