This soup is like velvet on my tongue. It’s so silky and smooth and flavorful; I just can’t wait to make another batch of puréed heaven. I was so excited to see delicata squash reappear in the supermarkets, so I snatched one up. And then I had a soup lesson in my cooking class, and I knew that I had to make a squash soup. I was thinking about it and dreaming about it, but different events kept appearing on my schedule and getting in my way. I finally had a block of time late one weekend afternoon to throw this soup together, and it was spectacular. I can’t wait to tinker around with its flavor profile to create something new, but now I am just biding my time until I have another event-free afternoon. I am BEGGING to be bored so I can break out the blender and indulge!
To make this wonderful squash soup, start by halving 1 delicata squash, removing its seeds, and placing both halves on a baking sheet. Also cut 1/2 of a butternut squash into similar sized chunks, and add it to the baking sheet. Bake the squash pieces in a 400º F oven until they can easily be pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes.
While the squash cook, dice 1 small onion and mince 2 cloves of garlic. Put a pot on the stove over medium heat, and add in about 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Sweat the onion and garlic in the butter until they are soft and translucent. Season them with salt and pepper. When the squash are tender, scoop the flesh out of the skins, and add it to the pot. Put some thyme (fresh or dried), peppercorns, and 1 bay leaf in a cheesecloth satchel or a fillable tea bag, and add it to the pot. Pour in enough chicken stock to just cover the squash, about 2.5 cups.
Simmer the soup until the squash is completely tender and the herbs and flavorings have had a chance to permeate. Then, remove the cheesecloth or tea bag from the soup. Pour the soup into a blender, and purée it. Taste the soup, and season it with more salt and pepper. Finish the soup with about 1/2 cup of cream and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Blend the soup again, taste it, and adjust the seasonings.
Return the soup to the pot, and bring it to a light simmer. There are a few ways to serve this soup. Some tried and true methods:
- Cut some shrimp into bite-sized pieces, and drop them into the soup to cook. Once the shrimp are pink and opaque, after about 3-5 minutes, the soup is ready to serve. Portion it out into bowls, and garnish it with fresh thyme leaves (pictured above).
- Alternatively, garnish with a generous sprinkling of crisp bacon pieces and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil (first picture).
Then lick your bowl clean, and repeat!
- Delicata squash- 1
- Butternut squash- 1/2
- Onion- 1, small
- Garlic- 2 cloves
- Butter- 1/2 tablespoon
- Thyme- 1 sprig + more for garnish
- Bay leaf- 1
- Peppercorns- 1/2 teaspoon
- Chicken stock- 2.5 cups
- Cream- 1/2 cup
- Maple syrup- 1 tablespoon
- Salt and pepper
- Shrimp- 5 jumbo