Saturday, November 5, 2011

Food on Friday: a simple autumn soup

So, I know it's late.  And, technically, it is no longer Friday in Germany.   But it's still Friday in the United States, so that will have to suffice.  As for our recipe today, we have another amazing soup recipe.  I realize that I have done about 3 soup posts in the last month, but I just absolutely LOVE soups this time of year (well, any time of year, really).  I eat soup for dinner almost every night to warm up my bones after a long day of feeling cold.

This soup recipe comes from my mom.  It is a roasted butternut squash soup and it is really quite good.  Peter loved it.  I am pretty sure he would have married this soup if he could.  He couldn't stop talking about it.  It's quite simple, but that is the beauty of it.  It is hearty, earthy, simple goodness in a bowl.

I would suggest it on a Sunday, particularly on a cold Sunday.  Oh and if you make it right--i.e. you cook like a woman and not like a man--there is almost no clean up.  Seriously, what could be better?

Mutti's Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
serves 2

1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 small to medium white onion, quartered
1 clove of garlic
1 can chicken broth
1 pinch nutmeg
1 dash of cream or 1/2 and 1/2
a few pieces of day-old bread, preferably white
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).  Place the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a little salt. Place the onion and garlic on the baking sheet as well and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until tender.  (You may want to check on the garlic and onions from time to time and make sure that they don't burn.  Take them out of they start to look too brown or crispy.)  Let the squash halves cool and then use a spoon to scoop them.

Place half of the squash meat, onion and garlic in a blender with half of the chicken broth.  Blend until smooth.  Place the second half of the squash, onion and garlic in and blend until smooth.  Add a little more broth or a touch of water to get the desired consistency.  It is okay if it is watery, as it will thicken up upon cooking.   At this point, you can either put the mixture in the refrigerator and finish it later in the day or the week as a quick weeknight meal or you can place the mixture directly into a pot on the stove to be served right away.

Once the squash mixture is in a pot on the stove, begin warming it over medium heat.  Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 F (175 C) and cut the day old bread into cubes and put in a plastic bag.  Drizzle olive oil in the bag, add a bit of salt and pepper and shake to coat.  Put the cubes of bread on a baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

Add a dash of cream, a pinch of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste when the soup is warm enough and just before serving. Place into bowls and garnish with croutons.  Enjoy!

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