Butternut squash is my favourite fall vegetable and Butternut Squash Soup is my favourite fall soup. If you are going to cook with butternut squash there is one important tip, microwave the whole squash for a minute before you cut it. The skin is very hard and once you get a knife stuck in it you could cut yourself simply trying to get the knife out. Softening the skin in the microwave is the smart thing to do. The texture is velvety smooth and the taste is sort of a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin.
This version of Butternut Squash Soup includes poblano chiles, a large mild green chile also in season now. But don’t let that ingredient deter you from making soup. Simply leave it out and go looking for poblanos another time…if you’re interested.
Chile Know How
Everyone seems to have fallen in love with the smoky chipotle chile, according to the horrid tasting knock-off of homemade chipotle mayo handed out at fast food restaurants. If your chile know how ends there here are three things to remember about chile peppers.
- -the smaller the hotter,
- -their name often (but not always) changes when they are dried,
- -Goggle images is a great place to check before you shop so you know what chile you are looking for.
From Everyday to Gourmet for Butternut Squash Soup
This Butternut Squash Soup with Poblano Chiles is delicious served in a bowl with a blob of sour cream and a few toasted pumpkin seeds. But it is also the ideal recipe to turn into a gourmet appetizer. So find those shooter glasses in the back of some cupboard and try this…at home, just for fun. Then the next time you need an appetizer you can make a simple pot of soup with this gourmet presentation.
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Cookware for Making Soup
Cookware is an investment. You don’t need the most expensive set of pots but there is a wide variety of affordable cookware available and many items you purchase will last for decades. Notice what you like and choose wisely when you buy.
For the everyday home cook like me the largest pot in a typical set of pots is usually perfect for making soup. Although recipes sometimes say a Dutch oven or a soup pot they probably don’t really mean that. A modern Dutch oven is like the gorgeous Le Creuset enamelled cast iron pot. They are heavy and expensive but will last for a lifetime of cooking. For a fraction of the cost you can buy a lesser quality enamelled cast iron Dutch oven and although I’m not sure, I think it would last at least half a lifetime.
Some recipes will call for a soup pot, also called a stockpot. Technically this is an extra large, bigger than what comes with a set of pots. They are ideal for an annual jam or salsa-making party, or special events like a lobster boil. If you cook for large groups you should own one. Many people would never really need one because to make an everyday soup recipe, the largest pot in a typical set of pots is perfect.
Really, there’s nothing like homemade soup. If you’re new to soup making consider trying one new soup each season but only save the recipes you absolutely love. Let me know in the comments below if you made this soup.
|2 lb butternut squash (about 4 cups cubed squash)|
|2 poblano chile peppers|
|1 Tbsp vegetable oil|
|1 small onion, chopped|
|1 large garlic clove, finely minced|
|1 tsp cumin|
|5-6 cups GF chicken stock|
|1 tsp salt|
|½ tsp pepper|
|GARNISH – sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh cilantro|
- Microwave the whole butternut squash for 1 minute to soften the hard skin. Cut in half and seed.
- ROASTING – Place squash cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 1 hour. Allow to cool slightly before spooning out cooked squash.
- MICROWAVE - Place squash cubes in a bowl. Add about 3 Tbsp water, cover with lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Stir then microwave on high for another 4-5 minutes until the cubes are cooked through. Set aside.
- Blacken poblano chiles over a gas flame or under the broiler turning to blacken on all sides. Place chiles in plastic bag and let steam for 10 minutes. Pull off as much of the blackened skin as possible. Remove seeds and roughly chop. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
- Sauté onion and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add poblano chiles and cumin. Sauté stirring until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
- Add chicken stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Puree in batches in a food processor or a food mill. Return to soup pot, taste and adjust seasoning. Add more chicken stock if desired, especially if serving as shooters.
- Serve soup in bowls or shooter glasses. Garnish with sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh cilantro.
- SHOOTERS – I used a spice funnel to pour the soup into the shooter glass without getting the sides all messy. Taste your soup from a shooter glass to determine the desired consistency. A fairly thin soup allows you to drink it all in one or two shots.