On Christmas Eve at my Son and Daughter-In-Law’s home, Kristen served a fragrant Winter Squash Soup and all of us decided that it should become an annual tradition. Since returning to Florida the days have been warm and my thoughts and appetite have dictated a grill mentality, but even Florida gets cold when the weather in the Northeast is below zero, as it is this week. So my thoughts returned to that warming soup and cooking seasonally. I try to go to the local farmer’s market every week. We are fortunate to have a longer growing season than most of the country, so it is easier to buy produce that is grown locally.
The lettuce looked beautiful and was much less expensive than the grocery store bagged variety.
At the end of this row were beautiful winter squash, both butternut and acorn. Dinner was inevitable – Winter Squash Soup and Salad. Kristen researched Butternut squash soup recipes on Epicurious and this recipe received the highest rating.
WINTER SQUASH SOUP WITH GRUYERE CROUTONS
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
3 14 1/2 ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/4 t. minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 t. minced fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 t. sugar
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmner until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)
2 T. (1/4 stick) butter
24 1/4 inch thick baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 t. minced fresh thyme
1 t. minced fresh sage
Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrage bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.