Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Autumn :: Brown Butter Roasted Squash Soup

Yay, today is the first day of Autumn! ... Isn't Fall the most perfect season?

I've been so excited for the season change, that the last few days I've been researching everything "Fall" related! ... Sweet potato pie recipes, apple picking orchards around NY, and even tartan blankets! ... Imagine lazy weekend picnics in the park atop a cozy tartan blanket.

Tartan's are the scottish version of plaids which are woven in unique patterns to represent the various family clans of each region. These blankets always make me think of the latter half of the year, so I couldn't wait to get one! A. was rooting for the red Wallace clan tartan (don't ask... something about the movie Braveheart). But after much deliberation I chose this the navy and green Forbes tartan! It's coming direct to NYC via Royal Post... doesn't it sound fancy? If our mail system were called Royal Post I think I'd ship things more often! :-)

So, with my tartan blanket in the mail, I'm now officially ready for fall!

Fall also means it's time to transition from fresh tomato pastas, watermelon salads, and cold gazpachos to foods more fitting of autumn. Like Squash! So tonight, I made a savoury roasted butternut and acorn squash soup with browned butter and nutty spices.

1 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 large acorn squash, halved and seeded (note: you can use one kind of squash if that's what you find)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 tablespoon Pumpkin Spice Seasoning (if you can't find pumpkin pie spice, add equal parts ground nutmeg, cloves, and allspice)
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Place the squash halves on a cookie sheet and brush the tops with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 30 minutes. (You can do this step a day ahead of time and store the roasted squash in the fridge). Allow the squash to cool and cut into 1-2" squares, carefully removing the skin.

Over high heat, in a large stock pot add the butter. Allow the butter to lightly brown, but be carefully not to burn. Think of a light caramel color. When the color is right, add the onions. Stir frequently and allow the onion to cook until they become clear. Add the squash and continue to stir. Allow the squash and onion to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the stock and seasoning, and taste for salt and pepper. Depending on the saltiness of your stock you may need to add more. Let it come to a rolling boil and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes covered over medium-low heat. Remove from heat.

With an immersion blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth.

Serve, and enjoy!

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