Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons, adapted from Bon Appetit, December 1996, by smittenkitchen.com (Who incidentally has a recipe up for Buckeyes today, *drool* )
Part 3 of Trisha’s contribution to the Soup Swap – I love her sense of humor! Get ready to laugh and get hungry peeps!
(I don’t eat orange vegetables. Or at least I didn’t until I tried this soup. The only way to describe this is fall in a bowl. This is definitely not a low-fat, diet dish. But you could definitely cut back on the butter a bit and replace the cream with whole milk, if you are so inclined. I am rarely so inclined.)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14-1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs)*
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 lbs)*
1 1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 tsp minced fresh sage
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
24 1/4-inch thick baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 tsp minced fresh sage
For soup: Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)
For croutons: Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.
*If you are not confident in your knife skills or lack a very, very sharp knife, I’d suggest roasting the squash, halved and seeded, on a baking sheet coated lightly with oil at 425 until soft, scooping it into the pot, and cooking it the rest of the way there. Peeling, seed, and chopping raw squash is not the easiest endeavor. Alternatively, you could buy butternut squash already peeled and chopping in many stores. Haven’t seen acorn available that way yet.