There are a thousand recipes similar to this one- they are all over the place. I think it is common because it is so delicious,easy, and exactly the sort of thing which is appealing to eat on a fall day. It certainly is not mundane in the flavor department. I am always delighted when the butternut squashes begin to appear in my CSA farmbox. They are yummy simply split ,seeded,and roasted, with garlic and sage tucked in the cavity, and a bit of olive oil.
Sometimes it is nice to do fancier things with these lovely veg. I am very fond of a certain squash galette. There is a butternut squash and hazelnut lasagna from a long past issue of Gourmet magazine, which makes a really special vegetarian entree for family occasions. But if you aren't looking for a big project, you can just go one step further than roasting, and make some yummy, spicy soup. If you have some homemade chicken stock, so much the better, but you can also use the kind that comes in a box, or a vegetable stock, if you do not eat meat. This is my present take on this easy treat.
You will need:
a good sized butternut squash
fresh sage leaves
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 medium potatoes
a big shallot, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, shiced thin
ground chipotle pepper or smoked spanish paprika
a few hot pepper flakes, pref. aleppo
2 cups chicken broth, pref homemeade, but can substitute as above-may need a little more for thinning
butter for sauteeing
olive oil for roasting the squash
bacon, 3 slices cooked crisply (opt)
sour cream or greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut squash in half, and place cut side up on baking sheet. Scoop out seeds and pulp from hollow. Pull as much pulp off the seeds as possible, and discard pulp.Spread seeds on foil, with squash. Put 2 potatoes on sheet also. In hollow of each half of squash place 2 garlic cloves and several fresh sage leaves. Spray or drizzle olive oil on cut sides of squash and seeds. Sprinkle squash and seeds with sea salt and chipotle powder. Bake until squash is quite tender, 45 min to 1 hour. If the squash seeds begin to look too dark, remove them and set aside in a little bowl. They should be crispy, but not, obviously, burnt.
Meanwhile, put some butter in a 3-4 qt. heavy pot, and gently sweat the onions and shallots until quite soft. Add chicken broth and aleppo pepper. Remove squash pan from oven. When cool enough to handle, peel squash, potatoes and garlic. Cut these up, and add to your soup pot, along with the wilted sage.Bring to a boil, turn down, and simmer very slowly to let the flavors blend and everything get very soft. Take off heat and puree- an immersion blender is best for this. Correct seasoning.
Serve this very hot, garnished with a blob of cold sour cream and the lovely toasted spicy squash seeds. The squash seeds are addictive and sure to get eaten all up with the first bowl or two, so you can substitute a crumbled bacon garnish as you finish up the pot. Or toasted croutons,perhaps?
I do think that roasting the veg first gives an indescribable, but definitely noticeable lift to the taste of this soup. It is a wonderful orange color as well. I like this thick and rich, just as it is. If it seems too thick, you can thin it with some chicken stock, down to the desired consistency. Or you can glam it up by adding some cream, which is delicious if you want to serve tiny cups for a starter. Posh, even.