soup’s on

If the crafting spirits are with me, I should have some knitting and craft updates for you this weekend (Ribby should be FINISHED). Don’t hold your breath, though–lately I seem to be having difficulties getting crafty stuff accomplished. Yeah, well, anyway, today I’m going to talk about soup. I’m in charge of making soup for Christmas dinner. I was contemplating what kind of soup I should make when Peter suggested I do a trial run. I told him that I hardly ever do a trial run; I usually wing it. He responded, “That’s why I’m suggesting you do a trial run.” Hmph. Well, it turns out he was right. Today I made Curried Butternut Squash Soup from the Silver Palate Cookbook. Here it is in chunky, precooked form:
squash soup 1.JPG
And after it has been worked over by the magic of the immersion blender:
squash soup 2.JPG
It was, as Em would say, schmeh (did I spell that correctly?). It didn’t have that sublime quality that I was hoping for, and it was too oniony for my taste, even though I pureed the crap out of the cooked onions with the immersion blender. It’s a pretty basic recipe, simply calling for butternut squash (hence the name! Ha ha ha!), apples, chicken stock, onions, and curry powder.
Anyway, I guess it’s back to the drawing board. Anyone out there have a tasty recipe for butternut squash soup or any other soup that would go well with ham?
Oh, and here’s a bonus photo of Peter’s favorite snack, since the soup looks like something a cat might hack up, and I hate to leave you with an unappetizing image–Cheese Curls from Japan (pronounced “Carls” in Japanese. It’s really more fun to say Cheese Carls, don’t you think?). This holiday edition was sent by a pal in Japan:
christmas carl.JPG

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24 Responses to soup’s on

  1. Nathania says:

    Try cooking the onions a little longer so they have a chance to start to carmelize. That will make it sweeter and less onion-y.

  2. Ann says:

    I like gingered squash soups…

  3. cari says:

    I think I may have dated a guy in college named Cheese Carl, but frankly it’s all a bit hazy…

  4. sylvia says:

    Silver Palate New Basics cookbook has a Baked winter squash soup –butternut and acorn squash, plus carrots and onion baked in the oven, then pureed. Has ginger too. Really excellent.

  5. sequinK says:

    Here’s a link to my fave butternut squash soup recipe:
    It’s helped along by a little canned soup (I know, but whatever!), but I think it’s the coconut milk that makes it absolutely sublime,…

  6. Meredith says:

    Ina Garten has a butternut squash and apple soup recipe in her Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook. It sounds similar to the one you made, but may be a bit more appley. I haven’t tried making it yet, so I can’t give you a personal recommendation, but it’s at least one to take a look at.

  7. christina says:

    The soup sounds really good but I’d say maybe substitute regular or evaporated milk (or cream, even!) for some of the chicken stock to make it creamier and add a bit of ginger, as someone already suggested.

  8. sUsAn says:

    I made the BEST butternut squash soup this fall! It would go well with ham. It’s from The New Basics Cookbook (Rosso & Lukins), and I posted it here:
    Just saw that Syliva also mentioned it too sop it must be good, right?! 🙂

  9. Barb C says:

    Hi Mariko –
    My husband made this recently and it was yummy. It’s from Food Network, courtesy of Gourmet Magazine.
    Butternut Squash Soup
    1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds)
    Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
    1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger, optional
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    3 cups chicken broth
    1-2 cups water, as needed
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Sour cream for garnish
    Cut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Arrange the halves cut side down in roasting pan that has been sprayed with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Bake squash in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until very tender. Set aside to cool. When the squash is completely cool, scoop the flesh from the skin. While the squash is baking, cook the onion and the ginger in the butter in a saucepan, over moderately low heat, for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened, Add the broth and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, covered. Add the squash pulp to the sauce pan. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, in batches, and puree until smooth. Add enough water to achieve the desired consistency, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the soup to the sauce pan and cook over moderate heat until it is hot. Garnish each portion with the heaping teaspoon of low-fat sour cream.

  10. mindy says:

    I’ve made butternut squash soup with ginger, pumpkin, and just a little cream (rather than beef or chicken stock) but I usually wing it as well, so I don’t have anything resembling a recipe.
    Have you consulted They have the BEST recipes, generally.
    I’m particularly fond of the one that calls for frizzled leeks, just because I like the idea of ‘frizzling.’

  11. Becca says:

    Try your own favorite blend of garam masala rather than bottled curry powder–I’ve done gratins of julienned squash with it that turned out nicely. And surprisingly, sauteed garlic and red pepper flakes work well with winter squash too. You can probably do a light version of either that wouldn’t overpower the soup.

  12. Marika says:

    The problem might not be with your recipe at all but with the squash. I live in New England where it’s grown locally and I’ve noticed that even squash I’ve bought off the farms has been pretty mediocre and not as sweet as it normally is. I’ve been roasting in the oven with some brown sugar and it helps immensely. I would recommend doing that and then throwing it in a pot with some broth, some cream, some butter and some nutmeg. (There’s an exact recipe on the site I once followed that’s basically this that came out really really well.)

  13. Jenna says:

    My favorite butternut squash soup recipe is a cookbook called How it all Vegan. I love this soup so much, I look forward to the time when there’s the right chill in the air for me to make it. I don’t have the recipe in front of me, but it goes something like this:
    Simmer chopped up squash, tomatoes, a bunch of garlic and a bunch of grated fresh ginger in veggie broth until the squash is pierceable with a fork. Process half the veggies in a blender with some soymilk, add the purreed mixture back with the rest and let it cook for about 5 more minutes. It’s so tasty and would probably go well with non-vegan ingredients.

  14. Petula says:

    LuRay!!!!! …sorry, I was just admiring your soup bowl…
    The Moosewood Cookbook is a great resource for soup recipes.

  15. elizabeth says:

    i don’t have a butternut squash soup recipe, but it seems like you’ve already gotten a ton of good suggestions. you should make them all at once a do a tast test! 🙂
    I do have a really good black bean soup recipe (it’s outta moosewood’s cookbook) if you want to go in a different direction. Or a lentil soup that includes garam marsala

  16. I second the suggestion to look at I use their recipe search more often than I consult any of my cookbooks.

  17. gaile says:

    A third and fourth all the above suggestions – baking abutternut before making it into a soup takes it to a level of sweetness that is sublime. All the flavors deepen beautifully. Definitely use ginger, fresh only of course. Try leeks instead of onions, and saute them gently for a long time, until they almost turn to mush, but do not let them brown no matter what. And for curry, use your own, not a bottled curry powder. I think the color of your soup is lovely – perhaps some dark colored bowls, a swirl of yogurt on the top, and a sprinkling of chives bits or a little garam masala sprinkled on would spark it’s appearance up a bit. Cheese Carls it is forever now!

  18. stef says:

    I second browning the onions more. It will bring out a sweetness. I like garlic in my soups so maybe you can consider that – but make sure your garlic doesn’t get dark. I usually throw whole cloves and let them cook down instead of mincing the garlic.
    Have you tried adding some parsnips? Or perhaps roasting your squash first?

  19. Gina says:

    i love japanese food packaging. well, just about any japanese packaging, really.

  20. Elsa says:

    According to Cook’s Illustrated, the key to full flavor is to include the seeds and pulp in the stockpot, then strain them out. I haven’t tried it yet, but you might give it a shot.

  21. Silvia says:

    Peter eating Cheese Carls…now that’s funny…
    Shouldn’t butternut squash soup have obscene amounts of cream and butter? I’d look for that in a recipe if I was you.

  22. fujifunmum says:

    My favorite butternut squash soup receipe is from Graham Kerr – yes the Galloping Gourmet! He “lightened” all his receipes and published another line of cookbooks with very interesting receipes. It’s basically the same ingredients, but perhaps the cooking method is different. I cook the squash for an hour first, then it cooks with the onions, stock, apple, etc. for another 45 minutes.
    email me if you wish the complete receipe. It’s the least I can do – I LOVE your site!

  23. allyson says:

    So I am a little late.
    This is my fave squash soup:
    I substitute shallots for the onions, evaporated milk for the cream and use less butter. I also roast the squash rather than boiling – mostly because I fear losing a finger during peeling and chopping.
    Have you tried Trader Joe’s Moroccan butternut squash soup? very different flavors but also quite good.

  24. heather says:

    there is a super tasty butternut squash parmesan soup recipe in the daily soup cookbook. i don’t have the cookbook in front of me (funny how that happens when you’re surfing the web at work) but the brilliance of the recipe mainly involves chucking a parmesan rind in to simmer along with the squash & stock. you get incredible flavor with minimal actual cheese (for those guests who are worried about such things). i also plunked a whole dried chili in to simmer with it just to add a little touch of spice…
    all in all, it produces really velvety squashy soupy goodness.

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