Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Cashews is a warm, comforting soup, full with the flavors of fall!
I have a really good memory. Colors, smells and sounds sometimes bring a rush of memories and feelings at the most unexpected times.
All of a sudden I will be lost in the memory, like a time machine transporting me, back to a younger, more carefree time. How to make the “swirl” video.
I remember the first time I tasted Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Cashews was Aspen, Christmas, 1991, at a restaurant called The Attic. It was the same restaurant we’d eat at every Christmas, but this night, as part of the prix fixe menu, I tasted Butternut Squash Soup. I could have stopped there, skipped the Prime Rib, the Yorkshire Pudding and the English Trifle.
“Please sir, another bowl of soup!” I still remember the mouth feel and texture of that soup the crunch of the cashews and the hint of nutmeg. I asked the waiter, who asked the chef, for the recipe. The young chef, flattered, came out to our table with a yellow legal pad and apologized for the vague ingredients and lack of directions, “My recipe serves 200”, he said. “That’s OK,” I told him. “I’ll figure it out if you give me the ingredients.”
As soon as we got home, I recreated that soup, and now it’s on my Autumn/Winter soup list every year. It’s rich, it’s elegant. Perfect for Thanksgiving or as part of a dinner party.
Best of all, making the butternut squash soup is simple.
Well, I think all soups are simple…and way tastier than anything in a can. The original version was thickened with a roux (flour and butter), but I have found that if you reduce the amount of liquid, the squash will thicken the soup fine on it’s own. The original recipe also used heavy cream, I use half and half to give it richness and body…just enough to bring it to the right consistency, but still keep it healthy.
Have you ever eaten butternut squash soup? What do you think of it?
- 1 medium butternut squash about 6 cups cubed.
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Heavy cream or half and half thin to desired consistency
- Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Halve squash and place cut side up in a baking pan with 1/2" of water. bake uncovered for about 45 minutes. Squash won't be fully cooked, but slightly tender. Cool.Using a vegetable peeler, peel of outer skin and scrape inside to remove seeds and stringy fibers. Cut into cubes. Should yield about 6 cups. (I think you can actually cheat on this and get pre-cubed squash in the produce section of your market).
In a Dutch oven or large pot heat butter and oil until hot and shimmering. Add shallots and stir, for a minute or two, then add garlic and stir. Next, add squash and broth and bring to a boil. Add thyme and bay leaf, reduced heat and cover. Simmer on low about 45 minutes until squash is tender. Remove bay leaf and thyme sticks, if there are any
Puree soup using an immersion blender or upright blender, until smooth.
Return soup to pot, add half and half or cream to thin to desired consistency. Finish with toasted, chopped cashews and a drizzle of cream.