Like many of the fall recipes I have added recently, I’ve been wanting to make this soup for some time. When my camera was out of commission, I kept getting ideas for seasonal posts, and this is one of them. I tried butternut squash for the first time last year, when I made a butternut squash puree with maple syrup. It was so perfectly sweet and delicious – completely unlike the slightly bitter fried squash from the garden I remember eating as a kid.
I knew I wanted to make a soup that erred on the side of sweet, so I included maple syrup and coconut milk. I got the idea to add chopped pecans and hazelnut oil from this recipe at Food and Wine.
To make 8-10 servings of this soup, you will need:
- 1 large or 2 small butternut squash (about 4 lbs total)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2c pecans
- 2 tbs butter
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tbs finely chopped or grated ginger
- 5c chicken stock (use more or less, depending on your preferred soup thickness) (use vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)
- half of a 14-oz can of light coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 3/4c cold heavy cream
- 1 tsp hazelnut oil (substitute walnut oil if you can’t find this)
- salt, to taste
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a sharp knife, slice the squash in half and remove the seeds.
This type of metal ice cream scoop worked like a charm for scooping out the seeds and stringy “guts”! I bought it for only $1 at Dollar Tree!
Brush or rub each cut side of squash with olive oil and place face down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, or until the squash is very tender. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.
Spoon the squash flesh into a large bowl, and set aside for now.
Place the pecans in a single layer on an oven-proof dish and toast for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool and set aside.
In a large stock pot, melt the butter.
Add the onion and ginger, and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until softened.
Add the squash and chicken stock to the pot. Season with salt to taste (a tsp or so). Bring to a boil over medium-high, then reduce heat to low-med, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Uncover the pot and cook until the squash falls apart, approximately 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the maple syrup and coconut milk.
In the meantime, finely mince the pecans in a food processor.
Beat the heavy cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Fold in the pecans, add the hazelnut oil, and season with a pinch of salt.
Puree the squash soup in batches with a blender until smooth.
Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of the cream mixture. Enjoy!