Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
With Tomato Coulis and Tarragon-Poblano Chili Oil
Makes 16 (8-oz.) servings
This is an elegant version of the iconic fall dish that is a treat throughout the winter months. You can easily substitute any type of winter squash, which will lend to subtle variations in taste and texture. The key is to get the best quality product that you can; the fall bounty of winter squash make this not only a scrumptious dish, but an extremely economical one as well. Organic winter squash is a fantastic source of healthy antioxidants, carotenes that serve as a source of important compounds like vitamin A, and fiber so critical for good gut health. The additional garnishes at the end are not necessary to finish this delectable soup. However, it can add to a stunning presentation if this soup is served as part of a holiday feast. It makes a wonderful first course or as an even smaller portion, a delightful appetizer!
- 2 (about 1 lb. each) butternut squash
- 2 Tbs. oil, divided
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice (see separate recipe)
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
- 2 leeks (white part only), roughly chopped
- 1 shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 quarts chicken stock (or vegetable for vegetarian version)
- 1 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1 Tbs. honey
- White pepper
Roasted Grape Tomato Coulis (see recipe that follows)
Tarragon-Poblano Oil (see recipe that follows)
Roasted Corn for garnish (see recipe that follows)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Deseed the squash (you can save the seeds and lightly season and toast for both a snack and a garnish). With flesh side up, drizzle with 1 Tbs. of olive oil. Season with pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pepper. Foil a sheet pan and lightly oil. Place the squash flesh side down (skin side up); this helps prevent the flesh from drying out during the cooking process. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until tender. Remove the squash and allow it to cool.
In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, add the butter and remaining oil over a medium heat. Sweat the vegetables and garlic for several minutes (about 6-8 minutes); do not allow them to brown. Add the white wine. Allow the wine to cook off until almost gone. Add the chicken stock, maple syrup, and honey. Bring to boil and then simmer for 45 minutes. Add the reserved cooked squash. In small batches in food processor, or using an immersion blender, blend soup until it is smooth and creamy throughout. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and white pepper.
To serve: Place the soup in serving dish. Drizzle with Roasted Grape Tomato Coulis and Tarragon-Poblano Chili Oil and garnish with a small spoonful of Roasted Corn.
Roasted Grape Tomato Coulis
- 1 lb. sweet grape tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste (organic, if possible)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes just start to split. Transfer to a food processor and puree. Run the pureed tomatoes through a fine sieve (reserve the pulp and seeds for other uses). To the liquid add in the tomato paste.
Tarragon-Poblano Chili Oil
- 1 red pepper
- 6 poblano peppers
- 1 oz. fresh tarragon
- ¾ cup olive oil
To roast the red peppers and poblano peppers, place them over the hottest part of a grill or directly over a burner flame or under a broiler. Allow the skin to char and the allow the peppers to rest sealed in a plastic bag. After a few minutes, it will be easy to remove the skins.
Slice the peppers and remove the seeds. Remove the leaves from the tarragon and discard the stems. Place the peppers in the food processor along with the tarragon and oil. Puree. Strain the puree through a fine sieve, discard the pulp and reserve the oil. A few drops of the reserved oil are drizzled atop each soup serving are all that is needed.
Roasted Corn Garnish
- 2 ears of corn, roasted
- Juice of 2 limes
- White pepper
Remove the kernels from the ears. Mix with the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.