A few weeks ago Eric Ripert, of Le Bernardin, posted a recipe on his twitter feed for butternut squash soup with ginger. Since then, I have been salivating and staring at a huge butternut squash in my kitchen. Finally, I used that massive orange beast for this soup and it was excellent. Only served it with a salad as our dinner, but it would work even better as a starter for a dinner party, for yourself or to bring to a friend’s house. It’s easy and very customizable, should you like other types of squash too.
I also made some crunchy garlic-pepper croutons with some bread I made a few days ago. You can easily buy some croutons, or I’ll post a quick easy recipe for you to make your own. All you need is some slightly stale bread, or bread with lots of crust.
1 large butternut squash, cut into cubes, seeds and skin removed (about 4 cups)
4 tablespoons, plus 1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup milk (or if you have it, use heavy cream)
1 sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, about 1 1/2 inch piece
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Ground black pepper
1 quart chicken stock, about 4 cups
In a medium pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. When melted, add onions and cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and cook 1 minute. Add butternut squash and top with 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Mix to coat and cook, partially covered, for 3-5 minutes.
Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook, partially covered, until squash are soft, about 15 minutes. Using a hand blender, blend the squash until no chunks remain. You can pour through a strainer to remove any bits if you prefer. Add butter, milk or heavy cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with garlic-pepper croutons (recipe follows).
1-2 cups stale or very crusty bread, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400.
In a medium oven safe skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add bread and stir to coat. Season generously with pepper and garlic and a little salt. Cook for about 5-7 minutes and then move pan into oven. Cook for about 10 more minutes, or until crouton are crisp. Serve with soup or top your salad. Enjoy!!