serves four to six
this soup recipe is just a simple version of the common butternut squash soups that pop up everywhere this time of year. at the goat, i used delicata squash…the pretty yellow with green stripes ones you may see around. feel free to sub in another squash, as any would work fine. i remember going to my aunt marion’s house for dinner once and having a delicious winter squash soup. she mentioned what a pain in the butt it was to peel and dice up the squash. indeed. how to get around that? roast the squash then simply scoop out the tasty innards. much easier on the hands and the knife!
2 delicata squash, about 1.5-2 pounds each
3/4 cup unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced small (honeycrisp recommended)
1 fennel bulb, diced small
½ cup white wine
2 1/2 cups water
4 cups chicken broth plus more as needed (use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
1 cup apple cider
1. preheat the oven to 375° f and set two racks evenly apart. cut each squash in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy pulp. place 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter inside each squash half and season with salt and pepper. place the squash halves cut-side down in a baking dish large enough to hold all four (divide them among two baking dishes if they don’t fit into one.) Add enough water to go 1/2 inch up each squash half. bake the squash until the skins start to brown and the flesh is tender, about 45 minutes. remove from the oven (leaving the oven on), flip over so the flesh is exposed, and set aside to cool. when the squash halved are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and discard the skins, reserving the flesh and baking liquid.
2. toss the pumpkin seeds with the vegetable oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the thyme, then spread them out on a baking sheet. bake until just lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. remove and let cool.
3. set a large soup pot over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. add the onion and garlic and sweat by cooking them until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. add the apple and fennel, season with salt and pepper, and sweat until the fennel is translucent, about 15 minutes more.
4. add the white wine and simmer to reduce almost all of the liquid. add broth, cider, reserved liquid and the squash flesh. bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the squash is very tender, about an 1 1/2 hours.
5. meanwhile, slowly melt the remaining 3/4 cup butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. continue past melting until the milk solids begin to fall to bottom of the pot and start to brown. take care not to let the solids blacken, removing the butter from the heat when it is dark brown after 10-15 minutes. strain through fine mesh sieve and discard the solids.
6. working with a tabletop or immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. add thebrown butter slowly, stopping to loosen the ingredients with a wooden spoon, if necessary. add additional broth to thin the soup if it’s too thick. adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
7. ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with sherry gastrique (recipe below) and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds
yields about 1/4 cup
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorn
1. combine the vinegar, sugar, thyme and peppercorns in a small heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pot. bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. simmer the liquid to reduce until syrupy, 8 to 10 minutes.
2. cool the liquid and strain out the thyme and peppercorns. store in a tightly sealed container (no need to refrigerate) for up to 1 month.