Jalapeno Butternut Squash Soup


Jalapeno Butternut Squash Soup 

From Derek Clayton

If you’ve been keeping up with the HMK since the beginning, you may be thinking “geez, they make a LOT of soup!”  Ironically, our pre-blog soup consumption was pretty exclusively Campbell’s based.  I’ve always loved soup and there’s been a few ill-fated attempts a making it over the years, but I was never able to produce anything as creamy and comforting as the old Campbell’s can (sad, I know).  Usually my attempts involved an immersion blender that I had a brief love affair with.  If you have one, you know that they’re super fun to use and hold the promise of being quick, easy, and low mess.  But what they don’t offer is creamy.  All my soups were oddly chunky and mealy, and after a particularly off-putting batch of lentil soup, John put a moratorium on the soup making.

Then the KitchenAid 5-Speed KSB560 blender came into our lives.

That’s right, a basic blender that we got as a wedding gift changed everything.  We finally gave into the potential mess and started using our shiny new toy to blend soups.  We hit puree and walk away.  In just 2 minutes, beautiful velvety smooth soup is born.  Now we make every creamy soup that crosses our paths, and we haven’t looked back.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
  • olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • 1 tsp butter, melted
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium celery ribs, chopped
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (we left the seeds in…and it was HOT.  your call)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 cups chicken stock (store bought is totally fine, but if you’re feeling overzealous, make your own!)
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • cider vinegar, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced into matchsticks, optional
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, optional

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the squash in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds and fibrous pulp, reserving the seeds.
  3. Use a sharp knife to score the neck portion of the squash flesh several times.  Rub the flesh with olive oil and season with coarse salt.
  4. Place the squash on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side down.  Roast for 1 hour.
  5. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, and scrape flesh from skin.  Set aside.
  6. Rinse the seeds in a colander and dry with paper towels.
  7. Place the seeds on a baking sheet and toast at 400 degrees for 7 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and a large pinch of salt.  Toss with seeds and set aside.
  9. Heat vegetable oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat.
  10. Add the onions, carrots, celery and jalapeno.  Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes.
  11. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
  12. Add squash, chicken stock, and cream.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
  13. Transfer soup to blender and puree until velvety smooth.
  14. Return to pot over low heat and season to taste with cider vinegar and salt.
  15. Serve hot, garnished with seeds, apple, and cilantro.

Serves 6.

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