Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
Well, the weather turned nasty Friday night with sleet and freezing rain and when we woke up Saturday morning it was a pretty dreary, wet, and cold kind of day. Soup. It felt like a darn good soup day. Something hot to revive the soul and warm the heart. A good friend of mine gave me a butternut squash during the week. Perhaps a funny gift, but for me, it meant possibilities and represented how well we know each other. Not many people would understand or be so happy about getting a squash as a “haven’t-seen-you-in-a-while” gift.
This soup is easy and relatively quick to prepare and can be made with either fresh or frozen butternut squash. With the tang of apple juice in the broth and a little half-and-half added at the end, it is a rich and creamy, sweet and savory soup.
1 whole butternut squash (about 4 cups peeled and cubed)
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of apple juice
1/2 cup of half-and-half (optional)
Additional salt and pepper to taste
If you are using fresh squash, begin by peeling and cutting up your butternut squash into 1-inch cubes.
In a medium saucepan over medium/low heat, melt the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour until it is well blended.
Gradually stir in the chicken broth a little at a time as the butter and flour thickens the mixture. Once you have incorporated all of the chicken broth, grind in a little black pepper and sir in the apple juice.
Increase the heat and cook until the mixture is at a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the squash and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the squash is soft.
Once the squash is tender, use a potato masher or fork to mash up the squash. You can also use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup and then return it to the pot.
Once to the desired consistency (I like the texture of the squash so I use the masher so it has actual squash pieces in it), put back over low heat and add the half-and-half. You can omit the half-and-half and it will still be a relatively creamy soup but using it does give the soup a richer taste and feel. Salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.