A few nights ago I made a Butternut Squash soup. I found the original recipe – Butternut Squash Soup with Cider Cream – on www. epicurious.com. Of course, there were a few things in the recipe that I wanted to change, like, not using as many apples, leaving out the apple cider, and adding crème fraiche instead of the cider cream. My version follows. But just a note of caution on the butternut squash. This was the fist time I had worked with butternut squash. The gourd was very hard to cut and peel. The flesh was so hard that I thought I had purchased one that was not ripe (this was not the case). On top of it all, where I had handled the squash flesh, my skin dried out so much that my fingertips looked like they had been burned. Handling the squash with gloves may be prudent for next time.
Butternut Squash Soup
5 tablespoons butter
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into small pieces
3 leeks, diced (white and pale green parts only)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
½ of a fennel bulb, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
6 cups chicken stock or broth
½ cup whipping cream
Fresh chives, chopped
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium high heat. Add squash, leeks, carrots, and fennel. Sauté until softened, about 20-30 minutes. Stir in apples, thyme, and sage. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for about 30-45 minutes. Turn off burner and remove soup from heat source. Using an emulsifier (aka boat motor), puree soup (you can also use a blender or food processor). Return soup to burner and heat on low. Right before serving, stir in whipping cream. Ladle soup into bowls. Place a dollop of crème fraiche in the middle of the soup. Sprinkle with chives.