Allegedly, there is a hurricane coming. My husband was out yesterday at a variety of stores, buying sufficient supplies so we are adequately prepared for Frankenstorm. I, living in denial, was making soup, a delicious and quite Halloweenie Butternut Squash Soup. Yet something in me was planning ahead, because I was insistent on making as much butternut squash soup as my La Creuset pot could hold. I mean, who serves butternut squash soup to 4? Admittedly, I was bringing a huge pot of this orange delight into the city for an afternoon Halloween party, where it would be scooped into paper cups and eaten by adults and kids alike.
A few words about this soup. First, as I think I mentioned, you need a big pot (4.5-5 quarts at least, bigger if you have it) because this is butternut squash soup made for a crowd. Think afternoon outdoor party or tailgate or Thanksgiving dinner for a crowd.
Two, this soup did get served to kids, but it does have a slight kick to it. I couldn’t bring myself to serve butternut squash soup to a bunch of adults with young children without making it a tad bit savory and a little spicy. I didn’t want them to confuse the pureed concoction with baby food.
Third, you need a Cuisinart or large immersion blender for this job. And it really is a job. You have to puree it in batches, which makes for a big mess in the kitchen, or at least it made a big mess in my kitchen. So prepare yourself for that so as not to find yourself cursing under your breath in front of your children (hypothetically speaking, of course).
Finally, I am not sure who these people are that can make a butternut squash soup in 45 minutes. So many of the recipes give this time estimate. I suppose they are making it for 4 people, not 12, but I still think that it is a time underestimation. I even smartened up and bought the pre-chopped butternut squash. Cutting the squash up alone can take you 15-20 minutes. For me, my experience took me almost an hour and a half to make even with the pre-cut squash. Granted, I have two children so if you have peace and quiet and are a wiz at chopping and blending, maybe you can get it done in an hour and ten or less.
Butternut Squash Soup
Author: Julie du Pont
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- ⅛ to ¼ tsp cayenne
- 6½ lbs of butternut squash
- 9 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp fresh sage
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp cumin
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- ½ cup cream or half and half
- Sour cream (optional)
- Toasted Pumpkin seeds (optional)
- Parmesan (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven, melt butter in pan.
- Once butter is sizzling, add onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Saute for about 8 minutes until onion became translucent.
- Sprinkle cayenne and mix throughout the vegetable mixture.
- Add butternut squash to the pot along with stock. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add sage, thyme and cumin.
- Let simmer for approximately 20 minutes until squash is tender.
- Remove from heat and use immersion blender or Cuisinart to blend to a puree in batches.
- Return to pot and serve plan or with a mixture of sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and/or parmesan.
Julie du Pont is a Darien resident, mom and lawyer. She blogs about food and entertaining at Weekend Table.
Editor's note: This blog post is featured on the "Thanksgiving in Darien" topics page, where you can find Darien Patch's articles, announcements and blog posts on Thanksgiving—including recipes. See also the "Darien Food Blogs" and "Darien Food & Drink" topics page.