Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup and Grilled Onion and Cheese Sandwiches

Heck. Yes. I'm not a big fan of squash on the whole, so I was a little skeptical of this recipe. Let me tell you, however, that it is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Not difficult, packed with good-for-you-stuff, and incredibly tasty. There are some very bold, very diverse flavors in there that you will LOVE.
And seriously, how have I never thought to put grilled onions on a grilled cheese sandwich?! It was to die for. So delicious!

Butternut Squash Soup

2 large butternut squash, about 5 lbs.
1/4 c canola oil (I used olive oil)
3 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
8 garlic cloves (I used pre-minced garlic)
1 small serrano chili (Mine went missing so I used some smoked Chipotle tabasco sauce and a dash of red pepper flakes.)
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 qt (about 6 cups) chicken stock, plus extra if needed
Black pepper to taste
5 tbsp creme fraiche (I used a dollop of Greek yogurt, but really you don't need any of it...))

1. Peel squash. Cut in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and cut flesh into 2" cubes.
2. Heat large pot over medium-high heat and drizzle oil. Add onions and saute until lightly browned, about 5 min. Add celery, carrots, garlic and chile. Saute until veggies caramelize, 10-12 min.
3. Add squash, cook 10 minutes. Add potatoes and salt, then cover with stock. Let soup simmer over medium heat 40-45 minutes until veggies are very soft. Puree soup until smooth (I used an immersion blender and it worked well. Just be careful not to let it splash, no matter what you use.)
4. Return to pot, check to make sure it is smooth and thick, but not as thick as baby food. Check seasoning. Keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.
5. Garnish with creme fraiche and serve.

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