Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The King of Butternut Squash Soups

Always a dinner party hit
Here's the creamiest, most complex butternut squash soup recipe I've ever tasted. It's ideal for the holidays and quick and simple to make. The secret ingredient is peanut butter. Adapted from British chef Antony Worrall Thompson, the Creole soup packs a kick from West Indian hot sauce, which can also be added to taste. It freezes beautifully (handy for unexpected guests). And you can substitute pumpkin for the butternut squash too.

Creole Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4-6


1 medium onion, diced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk celery, diced - if you don't have, just use 3 carrots instead of 2
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg - freshly ground is best
4 cups (1000 ml) chicken stock
2 1/4 lbs (1 kg) butternut squash or pumpkin cut into 1 inch cubes - a little more is fine too
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter - I use no sugar added, organic
3/4 cup (175 ml) heavy (double) cream - a little less if you're watching calories
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1-2 tablespoons West Indian hot sauce - be careful - start with 1 tablespoon and add more to taste. I use Grace Scotch Bonnet.
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

  • In a heavy pot over medium heat, saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots in oil until soft.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and nutmeg. Add the chicken stock and squash and cook over medium heat until soft.

Simmer til you can easily pierce the chunks with a fork

  • In batches, carefully puree the ingredients in a blender or food processor and return to the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir in the peanut butter, cream, lime juice and hot sauce.
West Indian hot sauce is key
  • Add salt and pepper as necessary. Garnish with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired. Serve immediately or freeze.
    One medium butternut squash should do the trick

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