Friday, September 07, 2007

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

title

I know we are supposed to be eating “by the seasons” and as much as able, I try to put this into practice. But I don’t have four seasons to play with. I have two – summer and rainy. Summer -- when everything is sweet and gorgeous, and Rainy (or "wet") -- when everything is um, wet and um, not so gorgeous. Right now, I can’t even tell…we are supposedly in “rainy” but there have been bouts of mysteriously scorching days. Sigh.

Well, this crazy weather can do what it wants and so will I. For now I’m declaring “autumn” in my flat – a season that I have always wanted. You may remember my jubilant discovery of butternut squash at a neighborhood market – like autumn, not something I bump into everyday, at least not in these parts. You may also remember, much more recently, my last post – where I declared my love for ham stock. This is where the two come together to make one powerful statement of a soup.

So here in my little corner of the Philippines, though all the leaves are not brown, and fall coats can not be worn, this is my autumnal declaration.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 850 grams)
  • 2 1/2 cups ham stock
  • 50 grams bacon (I used Tyrolean bacon), chopped into small strips or cubes
  • Olive oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme or a small pinch of dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

- Cut squash in half, scrape out seeds, and place on a baking tray in a 200C oven. Roast for about 45 minutes or until soft.
- When squash is soft, scrape meat out of its skin into a bowl and add stock. Blitz with an immersion blender, or simply toss squash and stock into a blender or food processor and process. Add only half of the stock at first, and just keep adding until your reach the consistency you like.
- Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pot or sauce pan. Add bacon and sauté until just turning golden around the edges.
- Add squash/stock puree, thyme, and black pepper, and then cook slowly to let the flavors develop. Add salt if needed. Stir in cream towards the end of cooking.
- Serves 3 (serves 2 for dinner with an extra leftover serving for the next day’s lunch!). Can also serve 4 as a small first course.

This is inspired (in particular) by my longing for a full-blown, leaves-swirling, theatre-like autumn…and my love for squash soup (in general). The use of ham stock here is inspired by my favorite squash soup in town…which I always thought had the essence of something meaty and smoky in it. In any case this one had a taste all its own – the aromatic ham undertones bolstering the rustic soft-sweetness of the squash, all veiled in a gentle smokiness from the bacon. The thyme was the perfect complement to round everything out.

This is my kind of squash soup.

Now if only I could control the weather the same way…

I’m submitting this to Tami’s Second Annual Super Soup Challenge, an event she created in tribute to her mother. Check out her gorgeous blog Running With Tweezers for delicious recipes and fantastic food styling (she’s a 2-time Donna Day winner!)

37 comments:

Meeta said...

Joey if you want I can send you some of the cooler weather to your flat to really experience the change in seasons only if you promise to send me some warmer weather.

This soup looks and sounds soothing and comforting! Lovely!

katiez said...

You're feeding all of my hungers right now - first ham stock and not butternut squash soup!
I planted it for the first time this year and can't wait for it to be ready...a few more weeks...

Anh said...

What a beautiful soup. I just love the color... and can imagine how good it will taste.

Maryann said...

You had me laughing when you wrote that you had 2 seasons..summer and rainy :) The soup looks delicious too!

veron said...

Joey, this is my favorite autumn soup! It's rich,creamy delicious and so comforting! Great use of the ham stock! Must try.

Deborah said...

Well, even if you don't have all 4 seasons, this soup looks and sounds wonderful! It's finally starting to cool down here, so I'm looking forward to lots of soup!

Marvin said...

Butternut squash soup WITH ham stock, oh it seems so rich and decadent!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A delicious soup! Very comforting, especially during the fresher days...
I can smell it's wonderful and subtle perfume from my chair!

Susan said...

We don't experience a real change of the seasons either, but I still crave traditional fall foods at this time of the year. And butternut squash is one of my all-time favorites. Your soup looks perfectly seasonal and delicious!

Tartelette said...

I feel the same way Joey! Here in SOuth Carolina we have summer and "what the heck shoould we call it" 2 month of cold weather. I want Connecticut Fall!! Your soup is simply the best! Makes me so hungry!

Kevin said...

Nice photo! The soup sounds tasty and autumny.

lobstersquad said...

good one. I love autum, it´s the best season in Madrid, though it takes a while to start. It´s very hot still, but, I saw a huge stack of beautiful pumpkins in the market yesterday.
any time now, I´ll be making squash soup too.

valentinA said...

There's no doubt this is the most comforting soup on a cold day. I wish you were my neighbour Joey;)
oh but then, I'd steal all of your food :S :P

Paz said...

Looks delicious any time of the year, I say.

Paz

maybahay said...

this is a big, warm, comforting cuddle in a bowl. looks delish.

Belinda said...

Joey, we are both having the same idea...trying to conjure up fall type weather into the seemingly endless summers of our parts of the world. I made a soup this afternoon as well, although it is so hot here still and not technically soup weather, but the soup was good, so what the heck, right?! This squash soup looks out of this world fabulous. Wow...just look at that rich, glorious color, its beautiful.

Rasa Malaysia said...

I don't much about making western kind of soup, but this looks great for a rainy day...plus with ham stock, you just can't beat that. :)

Truffle said...

I've been looking for a soup recipe like this for the longest time so was delighted to stumble across yours. Sounds wonderful!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

... and what an 'autumnal declaration' it is Joey. Beautiful!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Meeta! Oh please do! I'll be happy to do a little weather barter ;)

Hi Katiez! Wow! Your own butternut squash...that is fantastic! I can't wait to see your harvest :)

Hi Anh! Thanks :) I like the color of it too!

Hi Maryann! It's totally true...well, ok, I forgot our 3rd season -- "Christmas Season", heehee :)

Hi Veron! I loved the way the ham stock played in this...I love this soup too...even sans-autumn ;)

Hi Deborah! It's supposed to be cooling down here too...but it's been drainingly hot during the day and rainy at night...crazy!

Hi Marvin! Under "rich and decadent" is exactly where I like to find meal ideas ;)

Thanks Rosa! I hope to get some cooler weather soon so I can enjoy it again in lower temps :)

Hi Susan! Thanks! Really? No real change of the seasons? Interesting! I thought everyone in the states did...I guess not all "autumns" are as I thought :)

Thank you Helene! Whoa! I'm learning a lot about fall across the US...so not everyone has the "all the leave are a gazillion shades of gold and brown" kinda fall huh?

Thanks so much Kevin! :)

Hi Ximena! Thanks :) Nice to know you have a good fall to look forward too...hope you post about that squash soup when you make it :)

Hi Valentina! Don't worry, you wouldn't have to steal...we could just trade! :) I would love to be neighbor to all your yummy cookies, cakes, and muffins!

Hi Paz! Thanks :)

Hi Maybahay! A comforting cuddle in a bowl...I like that! :)

Thanks Belinda! Yes, if it's good and you want some, why wait? I agree wholeheartedly! Hope fall comes to you soon! :)

Hi Bee! Yup, great for a rainy day :) I love doing Asian soups too for the different spices involved...another way to warm the belly :)

Hi Truffle! Thanks! Hope you enjoy it and do report back if you try it out :)

Hi Amanda! Well, if you're going to declare something no sense in going halfway :) Thank you :)

Kelly-Jane said...

Oh that sounds grat with the ham stock and the bacon, mmm!

christine said...

Yummy! You know the thought never even crossed my mind about timing certain soups with the weather. For as long as the veg is in season, the soup is in season! :)

docchef said...

i love this soup.. can i have a bowl... pleaseeeeee.....:)

thess said...

joey, you're inspiring me to take out my blender and use it for this soup!
I have seen a lot of chefs (british cook programs) blending their ingredients to make soup and I always planned to do the same but never actually gone past the planning...I think I will, soon.

aria said...

oh roasted butternut and bacons, YUM. i love how butternut flavors get so sweet and concentrated when its roasted. mmmm

sha said...

joey i was at the market and saw squaSH then it dawned to me summer is over indeed.. autumn here we come.. this is one of my fave soup!!!

Zeph said...

Oh Joey, this is a South Beach disaster waiting to happen. So let's just say i'm trading in extra calories for extra doses of vitamin A. Great photos through and through!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Kelly-jane! Thanks :) I love the combination :)

Hi Nens! I guess in other places soups like this are reserved for the cooler months for their hearty warmth (plus squash being in season), but for us who are warm most of the year we have no choice but to have it when we want it or else go bananas waiting for "cooler weather", heehee :)

Hi Docchef! Heehee, wish I could IM you some! :)

Hi Thess! My immersion blender is one of my most loved things in the kitchen :)

Hi Aria! It is really good that way :) I just wish I could find it here more often...

Hi Sha! Now I'm only seeing the regular squash and no more of this butternut variety...sigh...hope to read about some of your autumn dishes :)

Thanks so much Zeph! Hey, vitamin A is good for you...I'm sure it's a fair trade ;)

Stephen said...

I have to say that I'm not a big fan of squash but you have intrigued me by using ham stock and bacon. I think I would really enjoy your version.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Stephen! Bacon makes everything better ;)

Peabody said...

Beautiful. I love butternut squash soup...I even served at my wedding.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Peabody! Yes, it is definitely a favorite with me as well :) I imagine you had great food at your wedding :)

zlamushka said...

hey Joey,

thanx a lot for stopping by at my blog. I am amazed to see yours. I clicked almost everywhere. Your pictues are fantastic. This was a noce morning read, thanx a lot :0)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Zlamushka! Thanks for stopping by as well and leaving such a nice comment :)

Mel said...

I love squash soup! Yum! =)

Michelle said...

I adore butternut soup. You got my vote for Tami's Soup Challenge. :-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mel! Me too :) Hey, I followed your link to the Real Living blog...looks great!

Hi Michelle! Thanks so much! :)