I was never much for making butternut squash – mainly because I don’t own a hatchet. The hope of trying to break open one of these puppies and get it ready for soup production – without a parallel trip to the ER – seemed very remote. I’m not to be trusted with a really big knife. It’s a bad plan all around. And I’m certainly not putting one in the hands of my children, or my husband – I have far more sense than that. All of this has meant a life devoid of butternut squash. I’m really not sure how we managed, but we did – putting one foot in front of the other, day after day. And then, all of a sudden, Trader Joe’s was selling chopped squash in a bag. Though I’m entirely opposed to prepared foods, I will make an exception for cubed butternut squash. Anything that allows me to avoid using a hatchet escapes the prepared foods prohibition.
Butternut Squash Soup (8 servings)
- 2 tablespoons butter (use all vegetable oil for a vegan version)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 ounces peeled pearl onions, cut in half (there have been fresh ones in the store recently, but defrosted frozen ones will work in a pinch)
- 1 ½ cups (10 ounces) diced white or yellow onions
- 2 leeks, washed well, cut lengthwise and then sliced, white part only
- 12 ounces baby carrots (can be used whole, or coarsely chopped)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 lbs cubed butternut squash
- Two 32-oz boxes chicken broth (swap in a very mild vegetable broth or water for a vegan version)
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons salt
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch Oven. Add the pearl onions, white onions, and leeks. Saute on medium for 10-12 minutes until soft. Add the carrots and sauté for five minutes. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the squash and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. The squash should be very tender and the carrots should be cooked all the way through.
Process the soup, a few cups at a time, in a blender until smooth. Return to the soup pot. Stir in the nutmeg, lemon juice, honey and salt. Serve.