Butternut Squash Soup with Ghost Croutons
This is such a fun time of year! It is filled with beautiful colors, great decorations, and of course fall produce. I mean what is be better than crisp apples and pumpkins? Cranberries and pomegranates? Sage, thyme, rosemary? Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger? Yumm….. It is making me excited just thinking about it!
I feel like October and November is preparation for December. It gets everyone excited for what is to come. Well, at least this is the way it is for me, you will come to learn that I love Christmas. (72 Days!)
Getting back to food….I love to try and get creative with not just baked treats, but dinners too. It is really fun to bring some of the holiday to the dinner table. Of course the added bonus is the possibility of spooking your kids into eating their veggies!
This is a great warm, creamy, and comforting soup. It is light and healthy, but feels and taste indulgent. Just prep your ingredients and simmer away.
The fried sage adds really great flavor to the soup and makes for great presentation as well!
Oh and you can not forget about the croutons! I used half a loaf of leftover beer bread and the flavor combinations were great. But, really any bread will do and of course cutting the toast into ghost is totally not necessary just a fun little idea!
Butternut Squash Soup with Ghost Croutons
Keyword: butternut squash
This is a great warm, creamy, and comforting soup. It is light and healthy, but feels and taste indulgent.
- Olive oil
- 8 leaves fresh sage
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Salt and Black pepper
- 2 pounds butternut squash Pumpkin or any orange flesh squash, halved, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
- 3 cups good-quality Chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream*
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted Butter
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 slices Beer Bread*
- Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Olive oil or Butter*
- Put a very large saucepan on a medium heat and pour in a couple of glugs of olive oil.
- Add the sage leaves and fry for around 30 seconds or until dark green and crisp. Quickly remove them with a slotted spoon. You'll use these for sprinkling over the soup at the end. In the pan you'll be left with a beautifully flavored oil.
- Put the pot back on the heat and throw in your onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are sweet and soft. Add the squash and the stock to the pan, bring to a boil and simmer for around 40-50 minutes.
- When the squash is soft and cooked through, whiz the soup with an immersion blender or pour it into a standard blender or food processor and pulse until you have a smooth puree (but you can leave it slightly chunky if you like).
- Return to the pot and add the cream and butter, storring until mixed through. Allow to simmer on the stove until ready to serve.
- Make your croutons:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Take a ghost cookie cutter and cut your beer bread into to four ghost. Lightly butter one side of the toast and place butter side down on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the top side with as much cheese as you desire. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until your ghost are toasted and the cheese has melted.
- To serve:
- Divide the soup between your bowls, placing a ghost on top of each. Sprinkle with a few of your crispy sage leaves.
* The heavy cream is a delicious addition to this soup and I do recommend using it. However, it is not essential and can be replaced with a half cup more of chicken broth. * I happened to have leftover beer bread, which went great with the soup, but any bread can be used. And obviously you do not need to make the croutons into ghost regular old toast would be just a good. *Again the butter adds great flavor and goes really well with the squash, but it can be left out. *To Make Ahead: For the soup: Prepare the soup through all steps. Allow to cool and store in the fridge until ready to eat. For the Croutons: Completely prepare and store in the fridge on their baking sheet. When ready to eat preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place soup pot back on the stove and simmer until warmed through. Bake croutons as directed. *To Freeze: Prepare soup and allow to cool. Freeze in a gallon size freezer ziplock bag up to six months. When ready to eat either remove from freezer the night before and allow to defrost in the fridge, place on the counter and allow the soup to defrost for a few hours, or cut the soup out of the freezer bag and place in a large soup pot on low heat.
Grab a bowl, a spoon, maybe a ghost too, and cozy up to this comforting soup!