Whenever I make a new recipe I ask my wonderful husband to taste test it for me. This week I made a friend’s recipe for butternut squash soup. After tasting a spoonful he commented, “It’s like eating liquid pumpkin pie”. “Does that mean you like it,” I asked? “Oh, yes very much,” he replied with a smile.
I enjoyed this soup for the first time last fall when I was invited to a friend’s house for lunch. Pattie had invited me and two other friends over for an afternoon of lively conversation, laughter and really good food.
Pattie loves all things from the garden, flower or vegetable. This particular day she decided to make a butternut squash soup. She told us that she had spent some searching for a recipe that would tempt her appetite but in the end decided to create her own.
Pattie said of her search for a good butternut squash soup recipe, “None of them seemed appetizing to me. Using the base for a lot of cream soups I’ve made, the sautéing of onions in butter, adding chicken stock, half and half, etc. I experimented with seasons, adding the right amount of white sauce, until I was satisfied with the results. I think it’s also important to bake the squash before adding to the liquid, as it brings out a special sweetness”.
I asked Pattie what she did differently from the recipes on the web. “The one thing I do know that was different, is the addition of a little white sauce, none of the many I looked at listed any. It gives it a creamy taste I think,” she replied.
“This had become one of my favorite cold weather soups. Seems at this time of year there’s always a butternut squash waiting to be turned into soup on my counter,” Pattie continued.
I had never eaten any kind of squash or squash dish before but as soon as I ate the first spoonful I was hooked. The soup was creamy, flavorful and downright delicious. It was an absolute taste treat! And, the consistency was perfect!
I liked the soup so much I asked Pattie if she would share the recipe and allow me to blog about it.
Butternut Squash Soup—Pattie Rogus
1 qt. chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
6 tbsp. butter
1 & ½ tbsp. flour
¾ cup half and half, more or less (milk & cream)
Salt to taste
¼ tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
Chopped fresh chives
Halve squash, remove seeds and cook cut side down on cookie sheet in 400° oven for 40 minutes. Sauté onions in 2 tbsp. butter over low heat until soft. Peel and cube cooked squash and add to chicken broth with onions and simmer covered for 30 minutes.
Melt remaining butter in separate sauce pan, add flour and stir with whisk until blended. Add heated half and half beginning with ½ cup and increasing amount as needed to make a thick sauce (not too thick, depends on thickness of squash in broth, as you want a soup not runny, but not pasty either).
Puree squash in broth with a stick blender or transfer to blender, until smooth (I like to leave a few very small pieces of squash).
Add hot squash soup to sauce, adding half and half until desired consistency, and season with spices to taste, sparingly, until you get a taste that suits you.
The soup can be made ahead and refrigerated 2 or 3 days. Heat soup before serving, and whirl a little sour cream on the surface and sprinkle with chives.
(Mary-I added a little more pepper and pumpkin pie spice to mine).
To go along with the wonderful soup Pattie also made chicken salad sandwiches on incredible breakfast bread from the Publix supermarket bakery. The bread is packed with dried apricots, dried apples, cranberries and walnuts and other yummy ingredients. The sandwiches were a perfect complement to the soup.
I finally got around to making the soup myself and learned something interesting about myself. I really, really need to get back into the gym. I have never in my life tried to cut something that hard. Try as I might the knife kept getting stuck so I finally called my husband over to cut the squash for me. I learned from Kristine that in her supermarket they sell the butternut squash already cubed in containers in the produce section. I will have to check to see if Publix does the same especially as I will definitely be adding this to my library of favorite winter soups.
I invited our friends Lorraine and John over for dinner the night I made the soup and they loved it too! Lorraine even went back for a second bowl! I considered this high praise indeed! We had a lovely dinner of salad, soup, sandwiches and a wonderful bottle of Kendall-Jackson Merlot. Lorraine brought along an ice cream cake to celebrate John’s birthday. Great meal, great friends, great evening, life is truly good!