Although technically a fruit, butternut squash is a versatile winter squash often prepared as a vegetable. This time of year, it’s delightful as a soup, delivering rich flavor and nutrients such as vitamin A, which promotes good vision and a healthy immune system.
Butternut Squash Soup With Poblano Chili Cream
Yields 8 (1-cup) servings
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons oil, divided
1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon poblano chili, minced
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup onion, diced
1/3 cup celery, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Heat oven to 350° F. In a saucepan over medium-high, bring ginger and wine to a boil. Remove from heat. Steep until cooled to room temperature. Pour through strainer and set aside liquid for use later.
Cut butternut squash in half, lengthwise; scoop out and reserve seeds. Peel and dice squash. In a roasting pan, toss diced squash with 1 tablespoon oil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Clean and rinse butternut squash seeds. Pat dry with paper towel. Mix seeds with cinnamon and nutmeg. On a foil-lined cookie sheet, evenly spread seeds in a single layer. Toast in oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a large pot over high, sauté minced poblano until soft; remove poblano from pot and place in a medium bowl. Add sour cream and mix together. Set aside.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining oil. Once oil is heated, add onion and celery. Cook for 5 minutes and increase heat to high. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the diced squash and ginger-infused wine and sauté for 2 more minutes, then add chicken stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer until squash is soft, about 1 hour.
Puree squash mixture, in batches if needed. For smoother texture, strain through a medium chinois or similar sieve. Return mixture to the pot and heat to a low simmer until warm; add heavy cream and adjust seasoning to taste with salt and white pepper.
Serve soup in bowls. Garnish with a dollop of poblano sour cream and toasted butternut squash seeds.