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Last year I shared this wonderful soup, and since we are now halfway through September, I thought it was time to share it again. (Sweet Shark and I are vacation this week, so I hope that you’ll indulge me.) Nothing speaks more to me in cooler weather than soup; either as a great way to start a fall meal with a warming taste of flavor or as the star of the meal itself, soup is comforting, filling, healthy and delicious. This Butternut Squash Soup with Cumin is from Soup of the Day by Lydie Marshall.
I met and assisted Lydie at Sur La Table in 2002 when she taught a class promoting her new cookbook. She is retired now, but Lydie is an American who lives and taught cooking classes for years in France part of the year. Since butternut squash is synonymous with fall, it’s a perfect choice for using in soup. I like the addition of cumin for an extra little kick of flavor.
TIP: I like to use a serrated bread knife to “peel” the butternut squash. Cut the squash in half. Then use a large spoon to scrape out the seeds.
TIP: This soup is a puréed soup; remember when you put hot ingredients into the blender only fill about 1/2 full; take the plastic cap out of the lid and cover with a folded dish towel to allow steam to escape (and not blow hot soup all over your kitchen). I love to use my Braun immersion blender for this job because you can purée the soup right in the pot, which is one less tool to wash.
TIP: Soups should not be too thick; they should pour from the spoon. If your soup looks like mashed potatoes, it’s too thick. Always have extra broth on hand to add if the soup gets too thick.
VARIATION: Soups should ALWAYS be garnished. This soup calls for croutons, but you could also garnish with chopped sage, thyme or parsley. A teaspoon of caramelized onion would be nice also. I like a little dollop of crème fraîche or a swirl of heavy cream in puréed soups, too.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 medium onions, peeled and sliced (about 3 cups)
- 3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch cubes (8 cups)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 slices day-old bread, such as French or Italian
- In a 6-quart heavy-bottomed soup pot (or Dutch oven), heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat and stir in the onions. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook the onions for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the onions don't burn.
- Add the squash to the onions. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, and thyme; cover the pot and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times so the vegetables do not burn.
- Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
- Fill a blender half full with the soup, making sure that you have liquid and solids. Puree until very smooth. As each batch is pureed, pour into a large liquid measuring cup. Continue until all the soup is pureed and then return all the soup to the pot.
- Reheat the soup; taste for salt and add more cumin, if needed, to taste.
- For the Croutons: cube the bread slices into ½-inch cubes. Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil into a cast-iron or nonstick skillet that can go in the oven. Toss the bread cubes in the oil. Place the skillet 3 inches from the broiler heating element and broil for 5 minutes or until the bread is golden brown, tossing to brown evenly. (NOTE: croutons may be made ahead and reheated in a 300ºF. oven for 5 minutes.
- Serve the soup very hot with a few croutons sprinkled on top.
Enjoy! I hope you enjoy this recipe. It really is a keeper. I’ll be sharing more fall recipes in the coming weeks.
Before I leave you to start making this soup, I want to announce that next week I’ll be part of the Autumn Tablescape Blog Hop. 28 creative ladies will share their ideas for lovely fall table decorating. I’ll share my contribution on Friday, September 30th.