Since I posted what I plan to do with the turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving in yesterday’s post, I thought I would put down today the soup I plan to make as well. I had planned to make a butternut squash soup all along, and I have several recipes that I like, so I was trying to decide which one would be the best to go with. I finally settled on this one from America’s Test Kitchen and am combining it with some others I have seen to sort of make my own. This recipe also uses some Cinnamon-Sugar Croutons, which are a nice little touch at the end.
Butternut Squash Soup
4 tablespoons butter
2 medium shallots, minced
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
5 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs thyme
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the squash, broth, thyme and nutmeg. Bring to simmer, cover and cook until the squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs and puree the soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in the cream. Bring to a brief simmer, then remove it from the heat. if the soup seems too thick, thin it out with additional broth or water. Season it with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with nutmeg, if desired.
You can make this soup ahead of time, which I plan to do, right through the puree step, and cool, cover and refrigerate it for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Just re-heat the soup over low heat, adding additional water or broth to adjust the consistency before proceeding with adding the cream.
There are a number of things you can top this soup with to suit your tastes. You could use the nutmeg, or paprika, a little balsamic vinegar, some crumbled bacon, slices of crispy prosciutto or even slices of apple or pear. I saw this quick little recipe for CInnamon Sugar Croutons from America’s Test Kitchen, so I am going to try that one.
4 slices white sandwich bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes with the crusts removed
2 tablespoons melted butter
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the bread cubes with the melted butter in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the bread cubes and toss to combine.
Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for several days. Sprinkle over the soup just before serving.
I think they will add a nice flavor and crunch to the soup. Overall, I think it is the perfect opening course to Thanksgiving dinner.
Okay, so we have the turkey, stuffing and soup taken care of, so tomorrow I will talk about some of the side dishes I am planning, which are a slow cooker version of the classic green bean casserole and a sweet potato casserole. Check back and see if you like them. I plan to post pictures of everything after I cook it all on Thursday, so check back for that as well. Until then, enjoy your day and enjoy your meal!