Stuffed Monster Heads
Gingered Roast Butternut Squash Soup
This soup, full of marvelous fall flavor, is always a crowd pleaser. It is excellent to serve during any fall dinner, either as an appetizer, or as a light lunch or dinner with a crisp salad and crusty bread. You can use a highly flavored vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth if desired.
2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter
1 large chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 cups chicken broth
freshly ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and heavily grease one or two baking sheets. Toss the squash cubes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet (or use two smaller baking sheets). Bake until the squash is soft and starting to brown, about 20 minutes. While the squash is baking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oiil and butter in a large heavy soup kettle over medium low heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the squash and stir well to mix. Add the chicken broth and mix well. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pot, and simmer for 15 minutes. Puree the soup in small batches in a blender or food processor. Return to the pot and reheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.
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