- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled and seeded butternut squash , cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 large onion, cut into large dice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pinch sugar
- 3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or from a carton or can
- 1 1/2 cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Garnish: store-bought apple chips
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan until shimmering.
- Add butternut squash, then onion; saute, stirring very little at first, then more frequently, until squash start to turn golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low and add butter, sugar and garlic; continue cooking until all vegetables are a rich spotty caramel color, about 10 minutes longer.
- Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cayenne pepper; continue to saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute longer.
- Add broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree until very smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (If using a traditional blender, vent it either by removing the lid's pop-out center or by lifting one edge of the lid. Drape the blender canister with a kitchen towel. To 'clean' the canister, pour in a little half-and-half, blend briefly, then add to the soup.)
- Return to pan (or a soup pot); add enough half-and-half so the mixture is souplike, yet thick enough to float garnish. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Heat through, ladle into bowls, garnish and serve.
I used probably twice as much squash as the recipe called for and I baked the squash for 45 minutes at 400 degrees so it would be easier to peel. It's really soft at that point and I just scoop it out. It doesn't brown that way like it does in the recipe, but if you'll cook it for the same amount of time it comes out great. :-) Watch out with the liquids, though. I only used two cups of broth and then just enough milk to get the consistency I wanted.
I garnished with a cinnamon stick instead of apple chips. We didn't eat the sticks, but they looked nice. I meant to take a picture, but I forgot once I dished it out, but it's such a pretty soup. A nice dark orange. Serves about 6.