If there’s one thing I love about winter nights, it’s the ability to be home and cooking something delicious.
Last night I made butternut squash soup, a recipe a friend shared with me last year to make at Thanksgiving. She had made it to serve at one of my bridal showers and it had been such a hit then that I knew it’d continue to be a hit when my family visited us in Michigan last Thanksgiving.
The preparation is a bit time-consuming, but I assure you, it’s soooo very worth it! And it freezes beautifully if you don’t think you or your family can gobble it up within the week.
Ingredients: -1 butternut squash -4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (separated) -1 head of garlic -2 leeks -5 cups of chicken broth
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350. Take a head of garlic and cut along the top to expose the top portion of the cloves, but still keep them connected to the base of the garlic head. Peel some of the outer most layers of skin off the garlic, but leave the inner layers so the head remains coverd by skin. Wrap the head of garlic in tin foil and set aside.
Peel butternut squash. Cut the peeled squash into 1-inch cubes. In a roasting pan, combine the squash and 2 T of olive oil. Toss to coat. Pour in 1/4 cup water. Roast the squash and garlic package, stiring the squash occasionally, until squash is golden and soft, about 50-60 minutes. (Add a bit more water if the squash starts to scortch on the bottom). Remove squash from oven.
Finely chop the white portion and tender green portion of two leaks. While squash and garlic roast, heat 2 T olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add leeks and saute until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn. Set them aside while squash finishes.
To get garlic out of skin once it’s been roasted, peel away the tin foil (but use it to hold the garlic in your hand as it will probably still be hot). Squeeze the base of the garlic head allowing the roasted garlic to be pushed out of the garlic skin.
In a blender in batches combine the roasted squash, garlic and leeks with 1 cup of chicken stock/broth. Puree until very smooth. Transfer puree to a saucepan. Repeat untill you have used 5 cups of broth. Simmer puree over medium heat. Season to taste with salt.
Serves 6-10 depending on serving size, like if it’s a meal or a side. I like it as a side with a light grilled cheese and salad. Sometimes for lunch I have a bigger bowl with a salad and an apple.