Many years ago, my parents took our family out to a fancy restaurant – way out of our league, but, hey, who are we to turn it down? My mom ordered butternut squash soup and had me taste it. I’m not a huge squash fan, but the soup was delicious. I have often thought of making it, but never had gotten around to it.
Fast forward to this last weekend. I enjoyed a fabulous “girls’ weekend” with my three besties. Wine was drunk, stories were told, laughter was rampant. Oh, I love my girls’ weekends. But that’s another story… On the way home we stopped at one of several orchards and picked up some fall yummies and decorations. They had good sized butternut squash 2 for 99 cents. I couldn’t pass it up, so I got a couple of them. I finally dove in and decided I’d try to make the soup. The squash already has what I would call a “sweet” quality, and I didn’t want to make it much sweeter, and in fact was thinking I would strive for just a bit of heat. I’d bought some canned chipotles (which I’ve never used before,) and decided I would incorporate them somehow.
Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle “Cream”
1 medium butternut squash, sliced lengthwise, seeds and pulp removed
2 carrots, chopped up
2 celery stalks, chopped up
1 onion, chopped up
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (about 4 cups) chicken broth
dash each of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon
about 1-2 tsp thyme
1 chipotle pepper, chopped (can add more if you like it spicy) I also added some of the sauce in the can.
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
3 Tbs. sour cream
3 Tbs. Greek yogurt
2 T milk or cream
1 diced chipotle
**You can use 6 Tbs sour cream or yogurt instead of 3 T of both
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Smear the cut squash with about 1 Tbs. olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 45-50 minutes, let cool until you are able to handle it.
Meanwhile, cut up the vegetables. In a large pot, warm the other 1 Tbs of oil over MH heat, then add the vegetables. Cook until they begin to get tender, about 5-10 minutes. Put the minced garlic in and cook another couple of minutes. Scrape the squash out of its shell into the pot and add the chicken broth and the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and thyme. Let come to a boil and turn heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 30 minutes, until everything is tender. Cut up one chipotle and add to the soup. You can add a second pepper if you want, or some of the adobo sauce (which is not as hot as the peppers themselves; Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to emulsify the soup. You can add more chicken broth or some milk if you want the soup thinner. Add salt and pepper to taste.
While the soup is cooking, make the “cream.” Blend the sour cream, Greek yogurt, milk, and one cut-up chipotle together. Put a dollop of the cream on the soup as you serve it. This will make about 6 good sized portions.