February 15, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Crostini

This wonderful soup recipe comes courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis from foodnetwork.com. The consistency was perfectly creamy (it may have helped that I added a cup of heavy cream at the end) and the crostini on top was a great garnish. This is a great soup for a cold day, or snowy day in our case here in Utah. The recipe below yields 6 large servings. Enjoy!

1. Before peeling, I placed each squash in the microwave for about 3 minutes, making it much easier to work with.
2. An immersion blender really is the way to go when making homemade soups from scratch. Relatively inexpensive, they will save you from having to clean up the giant mess that always seems to occur using a blender for hot liquids since you can do the blending right in the pot on the stove.

2 Tbs butter, at room temperature
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 to 8 cups)
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 baguette, sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 Tbs chopped fresh sage leaves
1 cup grated fontina cheese
Kosher salt

1. Prepare squash by peeling, removing seeds, then dicing into cubes.

2. In an 8-quart stockpot, add the butter and oil and melt together over medium-high heat.
3. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
5. Add the squash and the chicken stock.

6. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sage.

7. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.
8. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick.
9. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat.

1. Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sage. Sprinkle the cheese on top and season with salt, to taste.

4. Bake until the cheese has melted and the bread is light golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.
5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cheese crostini.

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