The season for winter squash such as acorn, butternut, hubbard, pumpkin, and spaghetti is October through March. When purchasing squash, look for one that feels heavy for its size, which indicates a small seed cavity and more usable flesh. In the case of butternut squash the neck has no cavity so an ideal butternut squash will have a large neck with nearly 100% yield.
The porridge-like consistency of this soup preserves all the distinguishing characteristics of butternut squash. Seasoned with hints of nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon that add an autumn flair, that’s as comforting and nurturing as an evening in front of a roaring fire. The crème fraiche behaves almost like a condiment. Swirl it in or let it rest as a garnish on top.
Butternut Squash Soup
¼ cup unsalted butter
4 lbs fresh butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt and fresh white ground pepper, to taste
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock
In a 12 inch saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. Add the shallots,
thyme sprigs and bay leaf, and stir for about a minute. Add squash and chicken stock.
Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 20 to 25
minutes, or until the squash is tender. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the thyme and bay
leaf. Transfer the soup to a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, and puree until smooth.
Return the soup to the pot to keep warm. Stir in the last 2 tablespoons of butter to enrich and thicken
the soup. Ladle it into bowls and garnish each serving with a swirl of crème fraiche.
Spiced Crème Fraiche
1/3 cup crème fraiche (Greek yogurt is a nice healthy substitute)
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Coarse salt and ground white pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons pepitas
In a stainless steel bowl combine all ingredients and season to taste. Serve immediately or cover and
store in refrigerator until service. Serve 1 dollop per portion serving and sprinkle a few pepitas
over the top.