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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Easy Squash Soup

I planted 6 squash plants this year.  3 acorn and 3 butternut. I forgot how large their leaves get and how much space they take up.  I even had a sqaush vine and squash hanging high up in my Cotoneaster hedge.  It was my most perfect shaped squash.  
I like easy.  I came up with this recipe by using Alton Brown's basic recipe. With my changes this is the best squash soup I've ever tasted.  I don't usually mess with Alton, but this time his soup was laking something for me.  
You judge for yourselves!!  You can make it savory or sweet.  Just omit the sugar.  
I used spenda to replace the sugar so my diabetic mom could try it.  You can't tell it has a sugar sub.  
My changes to Alton's recipe were to use half and half instead of cream, (milk plus cream) less salt, no nutmeg, powdered ginger instead of fresh, a whole small onion, a tiny bit of ground cloves, and cinnamon.  You could make this dairy free by using coconut milk.  
I used acorn squash for this first batch.  Their flesh is a bit less orange than the butternut. 

Squash soup in Starbuck's Pumpkin mug

Alton Brown's original recipe for  squash soup with my changes in CAPS below.         


3 to 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, approximately 2, seeded and quartered (I used 2 large acorn squash)
OIL Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
SALT FOR SPRINKLING 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup honey OR ¼ CUP SPLENDA
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger OR ¼ TEASPOON POWDERED
1/8 TEASPOON GROUND CLOVES-tread lightly this is strong. 
1/2 cup heavy cream  HALF AND HALF OR WHOLE MILK
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the quartered squash onto a cookie sheet with rims, brush the flesh of the squash with OIL AND SPRINKLE GENEROUSLY WITH SALT. a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the white pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender-poke with a fork to see if it is soft.  WHILE SQUASH ROASTS COOK THE ONION IN A SMALL PAN WITH A LITTLE OIL UNTIL IT IS TRANSLUCENT BUT NOT CRISPY.  SET ASIDE.
Scoop OR PEEL with a vegetable peeler the flesh out of the SQUASH skin and place into a 6-quart pot. Add the  COOKED ONION, broth, honey and ginger. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture until smooth*. Stir in the HALF AND HALF heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with the remaining CINNAMON, CLOVES, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
Original  recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2003.  Changes made by me 2016.