It is soup season! Try our creamy, garlic and rosemary butternut squash soup. It will warm and fill your tummy during the cold months!
Last week, we settled into fall… We turned off our AC and put away our summer clothes. Our puppy discovered the comfort of snuggling into blankets. The cold-brew containers were put away and we are now sipping on hot pour-over coffee. We celebrated Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) and decorated our porch for Halloween. We slowed down and took a deep breath…
The breeze no longer feels like a relief from the humidity and sun, instead it carries the smell of crackling fires and the falling leaves turning into crunchy mulch. It is amazing how quickly the seasons turn.
While habits change with the seasons, so does the produce. Watermelon recipes are put away and replaced with soups and stews. Squash season is here!
As you probably know, there are MANY delicious butternut squash recipes on the internet, especially soup recipes. All have their own little twist. Some food writers and bloggers like cinnamon or clove in their soup, others prefer potatoes blended together with their squash. For me, I am OBSESSED with mingling the flavors of garlic, rosemary, and squash together.
This recipe is incredibly easy. All you need to do is roast and slightly saute the vegetables, bring the pot to a boil, and blend. Soon, your home will smell like autumn, drawing everyone to the kitchen table to share a meal.
So, let’s get started!
Garlic and Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients:
1.The Main Ingredient: Butternut Squash!
I recommend using a largish, medium-sized butternut squash for our recipe. Though I totally understand purchasing pre-cut fresh squash to save time if need be, I honestly do not recommend them. (Not only are they way more expensive, studies have shown pre-cut vegetables actually lose their nutrients sitting on the shelf, have shorter shelf-life, and attract more food-borne illnesses). Instead, I recommend getting frozen over fresh pre-cut butternut squash if you do not want to buy a fresh squash whole.
2. The Spices and Herbs
For my recipe, I use fresh rosemary, tarragon, oregano, and Mexican tarragon. I roasted these herbs along with the other produce in the oven. If you do not have fresh herbs available, it is perfectly fine to use dried versions found in the spice aisle of your grocery store.
For those wondering the difference between tarragon and Mexican tarragon: Tarragon comes in three different varieties, French, Russian, and Mexican. All three have a slight difference in growing techniques and flavor. Usually, fresh tarragon found at the grocery store is either French or Russian. While French tarragon has the strongest flavoring, it is the hardest to grow. Mexican tarragon is lighter in flavor but extremely hearty and does well in extreme heat conditions (southern USA).
3. The Other Produce: Carrots, Onions, Tomatoes, Garlic, Serrano Pepper
- The carrots do not add a different flavor profile when added. Instead, they act as a back-up to the earthy butternut squash flavors, creating a stronger sense of heartiness to the dish.
- The onions, when roasted, add a modest amount of sweetness. A slight amount of pungent flavor remains with the onion as it releases its juices.
- Many people are thrown by my use of tomato in my butternut squash soup. The roasted tomato adds acidity to the dish. By roasting and cooking the tomatoes, you intensify the flavors as the water is drawn out. The tomato is what balances the dish from being overly hearty. It adds that extra punch of flavor. (Tomato season ends in October! As the seasons continue to change, and you wish to cook completely in season, switch the tomato with an apple!)
- Oh garlic, how I love thee. Garlic is probably the most used and eaten ingredient in my kitchen. For this recipe, I use a large, whole head of garlic. First, I take half of the garlic and roast it with the other vegetables. The roasted garlic adds a mild, sweet, and nutty flavor to the dish. The other half of the garlic is smashed and added to the pot with butter when the vegetables are sautéed. This type of cooking keeps a lot of the pungent-ness that is lost with the roasted half. For those who hate peeling garlic, check out my guide on different garlic peeling techniques! (Also, we photographed a head of elephant garlic for our post. That is too much garlic!!! Do not use a whole head of elephant garlic for this recipe. Not only is elephant garlic too big, I find it is often not as strong as your typical head of garlic)
- The serrano pepper adds a bright heat to the dish that wouldn’t normally be there. While the garlic is pungent, it doesn’t add a true spice to the dish. The pepper does this. You do not need to remove the seeds. Though it adds heat, the creaminess and richness of the butternut squash, cream, and butter is not overpowered. The heat is a backdrop to the main event aka the squash.
4. The Liquids: Chicken Broth, Melted Butter, Water, and Heavy Cream
- Once the vegetables are roasted, I sauté the vegetables further in butter while the butternut squash continues to roast in the oven. The butter adds richness to the dish. If you wish to make this dish vegan, I recommend using olive oil instead.
- Chicken broth and water act as the base of the soup. Once the vegetables are roasted and sautéed, I bring the pot of vegetables, butternut squash, chicken broth, and water to a boil. I want the chicken broth flavoring to be mild. For this reason, I use half chicken stock and half water. If you wish to make this dish vegan, use vegetable broth instead.
- I finish my dish with a small dose of heavy cream. This step finally brings the dish together by adding a further, heightened level of creaminess. You cannot get this dish any creamier. If you wish to make this dish vegan, omit the heavy cream completely or replace with coconut milk. If you use coconut milk, it will alter the flavor but is just as yummy!
5. Salt and Pepper:
Always add salt and pepper to your soup at the end. This allows you to gauge the flavoring and season to your preferred taste.
Personally, I like to garnish my soup with a drizzle of cream, some black pepper, and chives. You can garnish with whatever your heart desires. If you want sour cream, add it. Maybe you want to top with some maple bacon: go for it! Make the dish your own with your garnishes. If you do find a favorite flavor combination, please let us know in the comments below.
How to Blend Our Garlic and Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup
When blending soup, you have two options.
- Using an immersion blender
- Using a standing blender
I go against the grain when it comes to blending soup. Most food bloggers recommend using an immersion blender. The immersion blender is good for two reasons. First, it allows you to keep the soup in the same pot without having to do multiple batches (depending on the size of the standing blender). Second, it is safer because you do not need to transfer the HOT soup to a standing blender. I completely understand wanting to use an immersion blender for these reasons.
HOWEVER, an immersion blender fails at blending in comparison to the standing blender. The soup is grittier due to the immersion blender. When using a standing blender with higher speed settings, the outcome becomes creamier. Because the ingredients are not blended as well, I truly find that the flavor and texture falter with an immersion blender. The standing blender allows for the dish to fully come together properly. Also, if you work slowly and pay attention, I do not find the standing mixer to be any less safe.
So, when picking your blending technique, it is all about what is more important to you. Is it the ease and safety, or is it the flavor and texture? For me, it is the latter.
Serving Garlic and Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup
When serving our soup, I like to make cheese toast! Right at the end of your soup-making process, pop your bread into the oven or toaster to LIGHTLY toast both sides. Remove the bread.
- First, add a thin layer of butter.
- Then, add thin layer of your favorite jam (I LOVE hot pepper jelly/jam)
- Finally, add sliced swiss gruyère cheese on top.
- Pop your toast into the oven until the cheese melts. Serve with soup!
You can really serve this soup with anything! How about a grilled cheese or a beautiful green salad?!
How Do You Like Your Butternut Squash Soup?
We would love to hear from you! Let us know about your favorite ways of eating butternut squash soup. Do you have a favorite recipe? How do you garnish? Do you eat it all by itself or with another dish? Let us know in the comments below!
Also, let us know how you like our garlic and rosemary butternut squash soup!
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