This is another easy soup recipe that is all brought together by my kitchen buddy, the immersion blender. We had about 4 or 5 butternut squashes sitting in the pantry from our CSA that I was getting worried would go to waste so I decided that soup is the quickest think to do with them. The next question was how was I going to flavour the soup? I’m not a big curry fan, so that option was out for me. Another look in the pantry led me to a whole head of garlic. Well, roasted garlic it is then.
The curious thing about using a whole head of roasted garlic versus a couple of fresh cloves sauteed is that you get a more milder but richer garlic hit. If I served this to my dad without telling him how much garlic is in it, he would quite like it. If I told him he would accuse me of trying to kill him with heartburn. I have used garlic in my cooking as a weapon on my dad before. He had it coming though. The girls on my softball team agreed that Coach Earl needed to be taught a little lesson (many years ago).
I have made a lot of butternut squash soups but this is the first time I peeled the squash, then cubed it and then roasted it. The result was a very creamy soup with a smooth texture. I usually halved the squash, scooped out the seeds and roasted it that way. I have also peeled and cubed the squash and added it straight to the broth and let it boil. These two methods leave a lot more moisture in the squash which gives you a slightly thinner soup. At the end of the day, however you cook the squash is fine.
- 2 medium butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 onion
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup white wine
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup creme fraiche
- 4-6 pieces of pancetta
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut the top off a head of garlic (the pointy end, not the end with the furry looking roots), place on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- Wrap the foil around the garlic and place it in the oven on a baking tray. Roast until the garlic is a deep golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1.5 hours.
- Peel and cube the butternut squash. About 1 inch cubes but it needn’t be perfect. Discard the seeds.
- Toss with some olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread it out on a baking sheet lined with foil. You may need two trays. I put the garlic on the same tray as the squash.
- Roast the squash for 45 minutes or until soft and getting a little bit of golden colour.
- Dice the onion and heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot.
- Sautee the onions in the oil until they are soft and getting a little colour on them.
- Add the white wine and stir to pick up any bits of onion off the bottom of the pot. Let the alcohol evaporate a little bit and then add the chicken broth.
- Add in the roasted butternut squash and the roasted garlic if it is golden brown enough. Just squeeze the soft garlic cloves into the pot.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender or a regular blender.
- Stir in the creme fraiche or cream and serve with a pancetta crisp on top.
- Place thin slices of pancetta in one layer on a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet (cookie sheet).
- Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. As they cool they will become very crispy.
- Use one or more for each bowl of soup.
December 18, 2012