Monday, September 28, 2009

Butternut Soup with Parmesan Croutons

I love early fall. I say early fall because late fall, well, let's just say we're not the best of friends. But in early fall you still have plenty of warm days and green trees with just the slightest hint of changing color in higher elevations. Ah. Unfortunately, the warm weather can't always last and if the weather reports are right, we're in for quite the cold spell this week. So, for the sake of warding off that autumn chill, here's a recipe for some tasty butternut soup with Parmesan croutons that I tried a couple of weeks ago. Admittedly not everyone loves squash, but by way of recommendation let me tell you that my squash-averse husband said (with wonder) that this soup didn't even taste like squash. So there you go. Give it a try whether you're a squash fan or not.

Butternut Soup with Parmesan Croutons
(from Healthy Cooking magazine)
1 medium butternut squash (about 3 lbs.), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-in. cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced fresh sage or 2 tsp. rubbed sage
3 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (or regular if that's what you have on hand)

For Croutons:
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. minced fresh sage or 1 tsp. rubbed sage
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cubed French bread (1/2-in. cubes)
Cooking spray
Additional grated Parmesan cheese, optional

1. Place squash in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil; sprinkle with pepper. Toss to coat. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes or until tender, stirring every 15 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a Dutch oven/heavy stew pot saute the onion, celery and sage in remaining oil until tender. Stir in broth and reserved squash. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Cool slightly.
3. In a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return to the pan; heat through.
4. For croutons, in a small bowl, combine the cheese, oil, sage and garlic. Add bread cubes and spritz with cooking spray; toss to coat. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Serve with soup and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

that looks so yummy. I will have to give it a try. Your cooking skills seriously amaze me! Your cooking is just on a different level than mine :) That crouton recipe also looks really good--going to have to remember that.
And really cute monkey cupcakes!