Although fall means the end of summer’s abundance of produce, the end-of-season crops are nothing to sneeze at. Butternut squash, with its earthy sweetness and versatility, can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. I whipped up this simple, hearty soup from local squash, then froze the extra for quick lunches throughout the season.
What makes this soup extra special is its creamy sweetness and vanilla flavor; it’s practically a dessert soup. You can alter the sugar to taste, but I like the hint of sweetness that the small amount listed here provides. Roasting the squash imparts a deeper, richer flavor as well. The recipe, after the jump…
Butternut-Vanilla Bean Soup
2 2-3 lb butternut squash
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 C vegetable stock
1-2 T sugar, to taste
1/2 C cream
1 vanilla bean
salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Drizzle halves with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Bake on baking sheet for 35-45 minutes, until fork tender. Remove from oven and let cool.
3. Remove seeds (set aside–then clean, dry, roast with olive oil and salt for a tasty snack). Remove flesh from skins.
4. In food processor or blender, blend squash flesh, stock, sugar, and scraped insides of vanilla bean.
5. Taste and adjust seasonings. Blend in cream.
6. Bring to desired temperature in saucepan over medium low heat.