Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sandy's Sherried Butternut Squash Soup

When a hurricane is looming, most people head to the store in search of water, pantry staples and toilet paper. Not this girl. This girl came home with about 7 pounds of butternut squash. No one ever accused me of being normal!

My mother-in-law has been gently encouraging me to find a delicious butternut squash soup to serve with Thanksgiving dinner. This was my first attempt from nuts to bolts. It’s a beautiful, sweet, classic version of this holiday favorite. And in dedication to the power of Mother Nature, I changed the recipe's name in honor of her.

If you're looking for a little more adult - a little more exotic - butternut squash soup recipe, stay tuned!

Sandy’s Sherried Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Southern Lady Magazine
Makes about 2½ quarts

2 large butternut squash, halved and seeded (about 4 cups cooked) (Reader, if you’re fortunate enough to have a store that sells the squash already peeled, seeded and cubed, dive on it. It saves so much time!)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tsp ground coriander
2 quarts chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar
1½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp dry sherry

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Place squash, cut sides down, on a lightly greased baking sheet, and pierce several times with a fork. Bake for 1 hour or until tender; cool slightly before handling. With a large spoon, scrape out cooked squash into a bowl, discarding peel; set aside. Alternatively, place cubed squash on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Roast for 30 minutes until browned on the edges.

In a Dutch oven, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until the butter turns light brown and smells nutty. (Watch the butter closely. Although the olive oil will raise the butter’s burn temperature, if will quickly go from brown to black.) Add onion, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, and coriander. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Add squash, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and sugar, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaves. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In the container of a blender, puree squash mixture, in batches, until smooth. Return squash mixture to Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add cheese, cream, and sherry. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

For a printable version of this recipe, please click here.

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