Before I get to dinner, I just want to thank you all from the bottom of my food-nerd heart for voting for me in the Project Food Blog Next Food Blog Star contest! I know that signing up for FoodBuzz might be intimidating, but I promise there will be no spam sent your way! There are HUNDREDS of amazing bloggers out there, and I'm truly honored to even be on the same webpage as some of them!
Voting ends on September 23, so you still have time!
Now, on to why you're really here: to see what exactly it is I've cooked up in my kitchen today. You may remember that my friend Mal gave me some lovely butternut squashes from her garden the other day.
I used the back one that day for the delicious gnocchi, and the other two were reserved for something else. My friend Amy, back in March, graciously fed me a bowl of the most amazing butternut squash soup I've ever had in my life. Everywhere else that makes butternut squash soup tends to season it like dessert: cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe a touch of cumin.
Amy though, had a unique recipe that I was convinced: these squash were destined to become that soup!
My modifications are in parenthesis
* 2 Tbsp. olive oil
* 1 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 large carrot or 10 baby carrots, chopped
* 2 stalks celery, chopped
* 4-5 cups cubed butternut squash (I used 5)
* 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I needed 3)
* 1 tsp. rubbed sage
* 1 tsp. ground rosemary
* ½ tsp. ground white pepper
* 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
* 2 tsp. molasses
* 3 Tbsp. cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat, you could use the Tofutti brand substitute or omit it.)
Heat olive oil in large heavy bottomed pot. Sauté onion and garlic until softened. Add all but last three ingredients. Cook covered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (At this point, I needed to add a bit more broth) Remove from heat and add vinegar, molasses and cream cheese. Allow to cool slightly and then puree, either in a blender or with an immersion blender. (I used my immersion blender.)
Serve and garnish. I used chopped chives and a touch of sour cream.
To say this soup is thick, rich, hearty, and smooth is an understatement.
One thing that I accidentally did (by not paying attention!) was to allow the onions, garlic, celery, and squash to caramelize a bit before adding the broth. I think I'll do this the next time I make it as well because it added a richness and depth of flavor that only slow and careful cooking can add.
Thank you, Amy, for such a wonderful recipe and to Mal for the lovely squash! I'm so lucky to have friends and family that truly understand my food obsessions...