This was a very special week! It was the first time since last May it was cool enough outside in the morning when I woke up to be able to open the door and just have the screen open. That is a big deal here in Arizona because it means you made it through another summer! You can almost hear a collective sigh of relief. And we are all crossing our fingers, wondering if, and hoping that we have seen the last of the 3 digit temperatures. We attentively watch the weather on the news at night, checking out the 10 day forecast to see if it is going to be close. So far, so good! If these are not reasons to start making soup, I don’t know what is!
I have always wanted to try making butternut squash soup as I love it roasted. I have used it in salad, and as a side dish, but never in soup. I really didn’t know what it would taste like. I am happy to report it was delicious! I also had never cooked with fresh sage before so wasn’t sure how that was going to go. It smelled pretty strong. I tasted the soup without the sage and with the sage added in, and it made a huge difference in how the soup tasted – in a good way. It didn’t give it a strong flavor at all, it just gave it a depth of flavor. In other words, it gave the soup a whole new flavor instead of tasting like the ingredients I put in it. It’s like 1 + 1 = 3. But that doesn’t make any sense. Maybe that’s why I enjoy cooking so much. You don’t have to make sense for things to taste good!:)
Butternut Squash Soup would pair beautifully with Apple, Bacon, and Candied Pecan Salad and Autumn Cobb Salad. Normally I think of salad in the summer, but these are salads that take advantage of some of the autumn colors and flavors and would be perfect with the golden color of the soup. There are some things I am going to miss about summer, like the powerful monsoon storms that bring rain, and the gorgeous summer sunsets. But trading those for the cooler air and fall cooking and baking is fine with me right now. Especially if it includes this soup!
Butternut Squash Soup
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 3/4 c carrots, chopped
- 1/2 c celery, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
- 8 c butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (that ended up to be 1 very large squash for me)
- 6 c chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- croutons, pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), or sour cream and paprika (smoked or regular), optional
- After you have all of your vegetables chopped, put oil and butter in a large soup pot. Turn heat on low to melt butter.
- Next place onions, carrots, and celery in pot and sauté on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until almost tender.
- When vegetables are almost done, pour in minced garlic and stir. Watch carefully and stir at 1 minute intervals so garlic doesn’t burn. When garlic is cooked but not brown (about 3-4 minutes), turn off stove.
- Add the squash cubes, chicken broth, and chopped sage. Turn up heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Puree squash mixture in batches in a blender and return to pot. If soup has cooled too much, heat up again.
- Garnish with croutons, pepitas (roasted pumpkin seeds), or sour cream and paprika, if desired. Serve immediately.
- Refrigerate any leftovers.
Recipe from Cook AZ I Do, adapted from Taste of Home Magazine, August/September 2004, page 29,30 from Della Clarke of Vista, California