Squeakin’ In–Battle Winter Squash

I barely made it but here I am!  I didn’t think I would be able to manage an entry for this month’s Smackdown, but I remembered a recipe that I got a while back for the best butternut squash soup I ever ate, and figured I had to go with that. The recipe comes from a former blogger who kept a lovely blog called “Farmer Femme”.  Sadly, she is not blogging at the moment, but I manage to keep up with some of her culinary escapades on FB and I will always be grateful for this recipe.  It is so simple, but such a treat. So, without further ado, the basic recipe:

Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash
6 cups turkey or chicken broth
olive oil for sauteeing
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 can coconut milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put 1 inch water in 9 x 13 baking pan. Cut squash in half length wise and scoop out seeds. Place squash face down into the baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Set aside to cool. I let mine rest in the oven for a while.

Sautee the onion and garlic in a Dutch oven until beginning to caramelize.  Add the seasonings and let “bloom”. Scoop out the cooled, cooked squash and add to the Dutch oven and add the stock and mix well. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer and allow to cook down until thickened to your preference.  Puree with immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches until smooth. Add coconut milk and check seasoning. Return to oven to heat through, at least another 30 minutes.

The humble beginning:

These squash are so lovely–absolutely the color of the season:

I let the squash bake as above today while I was working and left it in the oven until I was ready to cook.  This is the second time I’ve made this soup. The first time I followed the recipe exactly, but this time I had bought some new spices from my favorite place and I decided I would use some ras al hanout, a middle eastern/Arab spice that is a mixture of coriander, allspice, fennel, black pepper, cinnamon, anise seed, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and turmeric.  Quite a heady mix.  And I added the cayenne. In total, I used the same amount of spice as listed above.

While the onions and garlic were sauteeing, I scooped out the perfectly baked squash:

Then the spices went in, along with the squash and the stock:

It’s still looking a little chunky there.  Sadly, I don’t have an immersion blender, which would make this quite easy, so I ladled it in batches and blended it, then returned it to the pot and added the secret ingredient–the coconut milk:

This absolutely makes the dish.  It adds the subtle flavor of coconut which goes superbly with the other ingredients and it gives a velvety texture that makes it a delight on the tongue.  Seriously, I could just put a straw in the pot and be happy.  To serve, I mixed a little bit of Greek yogurt with a tiny bit of buttermilk and added a sliver of red pepper from the garden.  Perfect!

And there you have it…a warm, yummy soup to keep your tummy toasty on a chilly day.  Substitute veggie stock for the chicken broth and you’ve also got a great vegan recipe too.



8 thoughts on “Squeakin’ In–Battle Winter Squash

  1. I went the oup route too over at the Buzzkill, but mine was on the sweet side where yours is on the savory-Middle Eastern side. The color of the butternut squash flesh is way more appetizing than pumpkin. Maybe because I’ve carved one-too-many Jack-o-lanterns. I like the idea of the coconut milk and the ras al hanout (cool spice mix that everyone makes differently). This soup would probably go well with lamb that also had the ras al hanout. Nicely done and Happy Halloween.

  2. I love butternut squash and I especially love it prepared as a savory rather then sweet. So delicious! I may even try this recipe, but I do have a question. What can I substitute for the coconut milk? Two of my household (myself included) can’t abide coconut…

  3. Such fun seeing the different directions people took squash soup for this Smackdown. Your ras al hanout and yogurt version sounds yummy! (Your mention of cardamom also reminds me that it is a spice I want to get to know better. I had a cardamom chocolate sauce on a pumpkin whoopie pie by Megan Ketover of Just Desserts recently, and really loved it. I’ve got the whoopie pie recipe up over at All Top Chef, but sadly I didn’t get her recipe for that chocolate cardamom sauce.)

    Thanks again for joining in, and happy Halloween!

  4. Your recipe made me smile. I posted a more pedestrian version of this soup as my entry, and specifically banned the use of soy milk. A favorite commenter of mine is dairy free and immediately asked about coconut milk. I didn’t have an answer, but I feel more comfortable recommending it, now that I see you put it to such noble use..

    Nicely done! The color of your soup is breathtaking.

  5. Mmmmm, Grumpy Granny, your soup makes me want to reach in an have a sip! Looks great! I like that you “mixed it up” Middle Eastern style, just goes to show how versatile winter squash actually IS, too bad so many AMericans only use it baked with brown sugar or pies! Well done!

    I did a variant on a Thai inspired soup I make and turned it into a coulis with seared scallops, come on by!

  6. my goodness does this look and sound devine…you know I never thought of using coconut milk in squash soup, but then with those beautiful spices you used, well…let’s just say my mouth is watering.

    So glad you joined back in and I enjoy reading all of your other posts! [=

  7. Thanks so much for entering! I am really into coconut milk right now and I love that this recipe calls for it. I’ve got the round-up posted and the winner announced on my blog now!

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