Creamy, Steamy Butternut Squash Soup
Excellent as a first course or this soup can hold its own as a hearty meal when served with thick slices of beer bread and a bottle of Steam Whistle Pilsner.
"I first tried squash soup when I spent the holiday season as an entertainer on a cruise ship in the Bahamas. While the sun and sand was super relaxing, I missed celebrating Canadian winters bundled up in my coat. So for dinner on board, I chose squash soup instead of coconut shrimp and upon tasting one spoonful, I found myself back home, accompanied by Jack Frost and a crackling fire. The only thing missing was a bottle of Steam Whistle, so I adapted my favourite squash soup recipe to include a splash of my favourite beer."
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut each squash in half and discard the seeds. Brush cut sides with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Arrange the squash cut side down on a rack placed in a baking tray and bake until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool, scoop out the insides of the squash, and puree the flesh in a food processor. Set aside. (You should have about 4 cups of pureed squash.)
In a stockpot, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Over low heat, sweat the onion. Do not allow it to brown. Add the squash and cook over low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. Season with the salt, pepper, ginger and cardamom. Add the stock and bring to a boil, over low heat, stirring often.Cook about 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat the cream with the rosemary sprig. Remove the rosemary and pour the cream into the soup. Transfer to a blender or food processor and process, in batches, for 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into heated bowls. If you like, place a tablespoon of cranberry relish in the center, top with a dollop of sour cream, then sprinkle with chopped pecans or roasted pumpkin seeds.
- 2 butternut squash (about 3 3/4 pounds)
- 1 acorn squash (about 1 3/4 pounds)
- 6 Tbsp butter
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground white pepper
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/8 tsp cardamom
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup STEAM WHISTLE PILSNER
- 1 cup of heavy cream *
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
* You may use whole milk or soy milk instead of cream to cut fat. The soup consistency will be OK with the substitutions, but you may find it slightly less creamy. I make the recipe with milk and fine results.