Okay, So it's been pretty hot out lately and I haven't felt like dealing with a hot stove much. However, I just recently ran out of my frozen stash of Butternut Squash Soup and today the temps outside dropped probably 15 degrees putting me in the mood to make it finally. This is one of my Go-To meals in a pinch. I just grab one from my freezer. It's tasty, yet not too heavy when you want something that'll just hit the spot without making you feel like you ate too much. :) This is another one of my adaptations from multiple recipes I researched. I took the ingredients and methods I liked and made it my own concoction. This soup just tastes like autumn. I love it! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
1 large butternut squash (the store I went to had smaller ones, so I got two this time)
3 T. bacon drippings (I keep a jar in the fridge)
2 T. butter
1 large onion diced
6 medium carrots peeled and chopped
6 ribs of celery sliced
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. marjoram
2 cloves garlic, minced (I just use a garlic press)
1 tsp. ground sage
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup apple juice
1 box chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Here are my two squash...cut them in half lengthwise.
2. Remove seeds and ribs? Is that what they're called?
3. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 30 minutes.
4. While the squash is roasting, dice up the veggies.
Here's my jar of bacon drippings. Whenever I make bacon, I save the drippings (if I don't use them immediately) in a mason jar in the fridge. I use this for lots of things like my soups to add that extra layer of flavor and my dumplings in my Chicken and Dumplings are ohh soo delicious since I added this to the recipe. :) I substitute a little of the shortening...I read on a southern gal's blog once that she called Grease just doesn't do justice to how delicious the flavor is....Anyway...on to the recipe :) ....
5. Melt the butter and bacon drippings in a large pot. Did you notice I actually forgot the butter this time? Oops! Don't skimp on the butter! :)
6. Take the squash out to cool.
7. Meanwhile, saute the veggies until beginning to become tender.
8. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and spices. Mix and saute some more.
9. Add the apple juice and saute a little more. Turn heat to low while you do the next step.
10. Using a vegetable peeler. Peel the skin off the partially cooled squash. Then dice in chunks and add to pot. Mix.
11. Add the chicken stock. I used a whole box. Depending on how thick or thin you like the soup, you can adjust the liquid. I used larger veggies this time, so I ended up adding a little more liquid just until the veggies were covered. I had chicken broth on hand so that is what I added. Bring to a boil. Turn to low heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
12. Transfer to a large bowl.
13. Discard bay leaf please...that would be pretty nasty to forget :)
14. Using a food processor, puree in batches. If you have an immersion blender, then you can skip the food processor steps. Just blend right in the pot...I'll get one one day.... :)
15. Add pureed soup back to the pot.
16. Add in the cream and stir.
17. Heat through, taste and adjust seasonings. This means if you think it needs something extra..now's the time :) It took me awhile to figure out how to do this. Make sure it's salted enough, :)
I love to add a dollop of sour cream and a few homemade croutons. This is such a great soup! If you try it out please let me know.
*A Storage Tip*
Once the soup has cooled, I usually pour two ladles full into plastic cups. Enough for a single serving. This batch made 11 servings. I then placed them into the freezer. Once frozen, I cut the cup and pull it away (they can be recycled if you are worried about landfills :) ) and placed in a couple gallon freezer bags. Then whenever I want a soup for lunch. I just toss one in a smaller Ziploc baggie and take it to work. I usually just microwave for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes.