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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Cream

Add a piece of crisp smoked bacon for texture and roasted seeds

This is one of those great recipes that is easy and can be dressed up a bit for any occasion. The flavor of the soup is really good and the smoked cream adds a little subtle surprise in the mouth. We served this at a cocktail party in little shot glasses with a breadstick and it was quite a hit.

Infusing milk and cream are quite popular in France.  The principle is always the same in that the liquid is heated and left to cool with the ingredients it is being infused with. 

You will need:
For the smoked cream:
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream, sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1 piece of uncooked smoked bacon
  1. Place the cream and bacon in a saucepan, bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool with the bacon;
  2. Remove the slice of bacon and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Soup: serves 6
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 2 small potatoes peeled (once peeled, keep in water until ready to use to avoid browning)
  • 1 leek chopped, white and light green parts only (remove the first skin of the leek as it is usually tough)
  • 4 cups (2 liters) of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup (200 ml) of cream
  • 1 bouquet garni* - see below (thyme, parsley & bay leaf)
  • 2 tblsp (60 gr.) of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste (wait until the end)

Roasting the squash caramelizes the sugars and adds flavor.  This process can be used to create your own squash or pumpkin purée (used in other recipes like pumpkin bread and pumpkin soufflé).
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (170°C);
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove the seed area.  Use a spoon to scrape it out;
  3. Drizzle the cut side with a little olive oil and turn cut side facing down on a parchment lined baking sheet;
  4. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until the neck of the squash is tender (check by inserting a knife to see if it goes in smoothly);
  5. Remove from oven and let cool slightly;
  6. Scrape out the flesh using a spoon.
  7. In a large pot, place the onion, leeks, potatoes, bouquet garni and chicken stock and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes - potatoes should be almost tender. 
  8. If foam forms on the top, skim it off.  Foam will cloud and add bitterness to the flavor of any soup or stock so it is better to remove it.
  9. Add the squash purée and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
  10. Take off the heat and remove the bouquet garni.
  11. Using a slotted spoon, put the solid ingredients into the blender.  Add enough of the stock to be able to blend it smoothly.  Additional stock can be added at the end of the blending process in order to get the right consistency.  It should not be too liquid.
  12. When you use a blender with hot liquids, leave the center piece of the cap off and cover with a dish towel.  This will prevent the mixture from exploding all over your work area.
  13. Return the soup to the pot and put on low heat to reduce a little and intensify the flavors. 
  14. Add the cream and season with salt and pepper.
  15. If you feel the soup is not sweet enough, you can add a little honey.   Always taste when you are seasoning to make sure it is right.
  16. Finally add the cold butter and whisk.  Butter helps to create a smooth texture in the mouth and helps all the flavors come together.  
  17. Just before you are ready to serve, use the smoked cream (again in a squeeze bottle if you have) and create a design on the soup.  Serve with a few croutons or roasted pumpkin seeds.

You can make a bouquet garni by placing a large
sprig of thyme, parsley and bay leaf onto a piece
of the green part of the leek and tying with
a string.  Adds lots of flavor to soups, stews
and braised dishes.


  1. Anonymous3/12/11

    I am going to make this today!

  2. Great I hope you like it! Thanks for reading!


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