My dear friends Ian and Kristine are about to have their second baby and I have been busy making some meals to freeze and deliver to their house. This butternut soup freezes well and is the ultimate late winter comfort food. It is simple to make, though takes about an hour from start to finish.
1 large butternut squash
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
lemon juice of 1 whole lemon or 1/4 cup preserved lemon
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
red chili flake
I made this soup with butternut squash but it can easily be replaced with other varieties like acorn, delicata or kabocha. Any winter squash will infuse the soup with a sweet and nutty flavor but will differ slightly in texture and color depending on the varietal. Winter squash is planted early in the summer and left to harden in the fields to help create a thick outer layer that stores well throughout the cold months.
To begin, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice open the squash, scoop out the seeds and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Toss the squash in the oven and check on it after 30 minutes. I roasted mine for about 45 minutes until it was tender.
In the meantime, I chopped up the onion and added it to a large pot with olive oil on low heat. I then minced and added the garlic. I let this sweat on low heat until the onions became clear and then added the stock and let slowly simmer. After the squash cooks all the way through, peel and chop into medium sized chunks and add to the stock pot. Then break out the immersion blender to make dreams come true (or your blender or food processor).
Once the soup has the creamy consistency that you desire, grate 1/2 cup parmesan cheese into the mixture and add red chili flake. Squeeze a whole lemon in (I added some preserved lemon I had in my fridge) and salt to taste. I made some croutons to add a salty crunch to the soup.