Monday, October 10, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup for Baby

In September I hosted a terrific group of women to shower our friend and mommy-to-be with good wishes. Since we've come together over food it was important this simple luncheon be tasty and look lovely.

Many years ago, I purchased a dozen 1950's vintage snack trays for $12. Yep, $12 - that's $1 each including the mug. Deal of the century.  I decided to serve squash soup - the (then) mommy-to-be loves squash. A little bunch of dark purple grapes set perfectly in the space previously provided for ashing your cigarette (that never ceases to crack me up-a lady needs to look classy while ashing her cigarette next to her food) Along side were crusty baguette slices to accompany a bite of blue, Gruyere and brie atop a leaf of garden sage. The big empty space? That's where the red apple slices went - I am so annoyed I missed them in the photo. Visualize.

The soup was an amalgamation of several sources. I couldn't have been more pleased with the results and I think you will be, too.

Caramelized Butternut Squash Soup
Smooth and flavorful without being overly sweet as squash soups can sometimes be.

¼ cup unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups best-quality chicken or veal stock
4 cups roasted butternut squash, pureed (other smooth flesh squash may be substituted)
1 generous teaspoon fresh thyme
1 generous teaspoon fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion sauté until they begin to slightly caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cook while stirring constantly until fragrant. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, allowing flavors to meld about 20 minutes. 
Working in batches, puree soup until very smooth in a blender. Return soup to the pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
This soup may be served with a sprinkling of fresh herbs, a swirl of cream or a toasty gruyere crouton. 

The texture and consistency is perfect served from a petite mug as an appetizer or passed hors d’oeurvre.

This soup may be made a day ahead. Chill. Gently warm over medium heat before serving.

Serves: 4 to 6

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