I was in the mood for butternut squash soup. What I was not in the mood for was something rich. I’ve only ever had rich butternut squash soup. Very rich. So I thought I would try roasting the squash in the oven with olive oil. You know, bring out its natural caramelization, making it more flavourful and thus omitting the need for butter and cream. Where does the Italian style fit in? That came later, as I started tasting the soup. You’ll see.
I started out with cutting the squash into chunks.
Into a roasting pan they went, along with olive oil, salt, pepper, a few sprigs of thyme and… garlic. I thought that just maybe, roasted garlic would be a nice touch. 4 unpeeled cloves. Unpeeled because I would be roasting the squash at a high temperature and did not want it to burn.
I popped it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Depending on how big you cut up the squash, it could take longer. Just test with a fork for doneness.
Remove the garlic from it’s husk and set the whole thing aside.
Slice an onion. Heat olive oil in a pot, or butter for a richer tasting soup, and add the onion. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
Add the roasted squash and garlic to the onions and give it a stir.
Add chicken broth, enough to cover the squash. You could add vegetable broth for a vegetarian version. Cook for about 5 minutes, just enough for the broth to absorb all the flavours.
This is where I decided to add a little Italian touch to my soup. Instead of adding salt, I thought I’d grate some Parmigiano Reggiano into it.
I added some cold 1% milk, about 1 cup, maybe 1 1/2. You could adjust the amount to how thick, or thin, you like your soup. Start with 1 cup. Purée the soup with an immersion blender if you have one, otherwise carefully pour the soup in batches into a blender and purée. Return pureed soup to the pot. If you think it’s too thick, add more milk. Or cream for a velvety-rich soup. After giving it a taste, I decided to add a touch of Mascarpone cheese. Just because I had it in the fridge. And for yet another Italian twist to it.
It was ready to serve! Don’t you just love that colour?
And because it’s that time of year, how about a few pumpkin seeds to give it some crunch!
Oh, that was good!