Sweet and Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


Did you miss me yesterday?  =)  When I woke up yesterday my internet was out, and after waiting 40 minutes on the phone to speak with a TDS representative (my internet provider) all they said was “We’re working on it.  We are having a lot of problems in Georgia and Florida, and we will let you know when it’s back up.”  Well, turns out I didn’t have internet again until  6pm, and I didn’t want to post my soup so late and have it up with such a short time in the spotlight.  Anyway, without further ado, this is a darned good and unique soup, and I would suspect that you probably have never had a soup like this before.  All the butternut squash soups I’ve seen start with a mirepoix base (or none at all), but I took this on the sweet and spicy route instead, and I’m glad I did.  Butternut squashes come in varying sizes, so use this recipe as a guideline and adjust the ingredients to your taste (this isn’t baking, so nothing needs to be exact).  This soup is easy, delicious, and when my husband saw the strainer in the sink with all the red pepper flakes in it, he was so excited and said “You made butternut squash soup today!!!”  Yeah, it’s good stuff.  Here’s how to make the soup:

Ingredients:
1 2lb butternut squash
1 to 2.5 cups milk (start with 1, then add more milk to get the consistency you want.  I like about 2 cups, personally)
3 tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
tiny pinches of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and/or cloves (optional, if you have them.  Basically, you don’t want to really know they’re there when you taste the soup, but it adds dimension if you add just a small amount)

Directions:

Halve the butternut squash, remove the seeds with a spoon, then halve it again, and roast the quarters in the oven at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes, until a knife can be easily inserted.  (If you have a hard time cutting up the butternut squash, take a rolling pin and hammer on the back of your knife, and it will get sliced up very easily and safely).

Let the butternut squash cool for a few minutes until you can handle it with your hands.  Peel the skin off the back of the quartered butternut squash with a knife (the skin should come off very easily) to separate the flesh from the skin.  Place the butternut squash into a blender along with 1 cup of milk, and blend for 1 minute on the most powerful setting you have (you want the soup to have a really smooth texture.  Don’t substitute an immersion blender for the stand blender, it won’t have the power to puree the squash enough, I’ve tried). Pour the blended mixture into a saucepan over medium low heat.  Taste the thickness of the soup, and add more milk if you want it thinner.  Add the brown sugar, red pepper flakes, ginger if using, and spices if using, and let the heat from the red pepper flakes infuse into the soup for 5 minutes.  Now it’s time to taste.  Do you like the level of spiciness?  If so, it’s time to work it through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the red pepper flakes and give the soup the ultimate silky smooth texture.  If it’s not spicy enough, let the soup sit on the stove for a few more minutes, until you get your desired level of heat.

It looks sooooo gooooood!

Use a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon to work it through the sieve.

Drip, drip, drip.  And then all the strainer is left with is this:

And you are left with some warm tasty soup.  Please leave comments, questions, and suggestions below, and thanks for reading!

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