Warm up with butternut squash soup
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Butternut Squash Soup
Remember Pavlov's dog? The dog hears a bell and starts to drool, thinking food will soon appear.
I'm just like that dog in that I feel a nip in the air, and I start to let's just say my mouth waters thinking of soup.
Today's recipe is adapted from one I received from my colleague Chris Parker, who is not only an excellent reporter, she's an excellent cook.
A few years ago, to add interest to the cold month of January, I hosted a soup party. Guests each brought a batch of their favorite homemade soup. The soup Chris brought was a rich, bright, creamy blend, the color of cheddar cheese.
Not having had butternut squash before, and having eaten my fill of the other soups, I hadn't gotten around to trying it. However, when I was spooning some out for someone else, I happened to get a drop on my finger, and absent-mindedly licked it off.
It was delicious!
Although I didn't think I could eat one more mouthful that evening, I ladled some into a cup and thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so, that in the morning, I heated up the leftover soup and ate it for breakfast.
Chris's recipe calls for two packages of cream cheese; I cut it down to one, and I believe it tastes just as good, but if you want an even richer soup, go ahead and use two.
Her recipe also called for peeling the raw squash and cubing the flesh, then simmering it in the broth, onions and seasoning, but I believe she makes it both ways.
Since butternut squash is so hard to peel, I like just roasting it until it's soft enough.
Plus, roasting vegetables always adds another layer of flavor you can't get any other way.
This soup is really delicious and filling and its intense color makes it perfect for fall.
Enjoy (and thanks Chris!)
2 large butternut squash
One-third cup chopped onions
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups of chicken broth
One-half teaspoon marjoram
One-quarter teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, quartered
Slice each butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds from the center. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the flesh is soft enough to be easily scooped out. You will need 6 cups of squash.
In a soup pot, melt butter and sauté onions until soft. Add squash, chicken broth, marjoram and red pepper. Simmer until all of the squash is soft.
Cool for about 10 minutes, then in a blender, process the soup in small batches with the cream cheese until it is all combined.
Heat through but do not boil.
Looking for more soup recipes? Go to www.tnonline.com/lifestyle/comfort-and-joy.