It has been a bitter cold winter in the South. Right when I felt like the cold winds were making their departure, another blast pushed spring back. Our winter recipe study has been devoted to soup. This is easily my favorite comfort food. It is more than a winter companion, it's my year round go-to meal. I've long been a fan of butternut squash, especially because it is full of antioxidants to help keep winter colds at bay. As healthy as butternut squash is, it often sits in my produce bowl on the kitchen counter long than I'd like. It is a tough fruit to tackle, I mean really tough. I often have to ask for help halving them.
There is nothing new about butternut squash soup. It is savory and sweet with a touch of creaminess. Food bloggers have covered it up and down and back again. So why are we dragging our feet in that pool? In this case, it is because the honeyed balsamic drizzle topping adds an intriguing tang to the mix.
For the Soup
- 3 medium sized butternut squash
- 1 medium sized onion
- 2.5 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cups of water
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1/3 cup cream
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper
For the Drizzle
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet. Melt 2 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves (alternatively, you can rub it on evenly with your fingers). Season with salt and pepper. Roast until knife tender, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, cut the onion and chopped the garlic. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 - 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- When the squash is ready, set them aside to cool. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed onions.
- Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
- Using a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- In a sauce pan or skillet over medium heat, begin the reduced balsamic drizzle. Add the tablespoon of honey. Bring it to a light boil. Watch over the evaporation process to assure the balsamic does not burn. If smoke begins to accumulate, it have begin to burn. This should only take 3-5 minutes.
- Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the soup and serve.
Serves: 8 Total time: 2 hours give or take