Today’s Reader Guest Post for The Holiday Project: Lily from Brooklyn, New York
[Lily is a dear friend of mine from high school, and I was lucky enough to visit her in New York earlier this year! She’s such an amazing and inspiring individual. And this soup sounds amazinggg! ]
In the winter months, I spend the majority of my days dreaming of beach weather, rooftop barbeques, and outdoor concerts. I brave the snow only with the prayer that it will be summer again, and everything will be right. In the summer, though, I daydream of winter squash – the horrible cold’s one redeeming accessory. Roast it, toast it, mash it, fry it, casserole it – I love winter squash, and butternut is my favorite.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 T butter
- 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2-3 average sized potatoes, cubed (best to use something creamy like a Yukon gold)
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- ¼ c rye whiskey
- 4 c chicken broth (or vegetable broth, if you’d rather make a vegetarian soup)
- 1½ T dark brown sugar
- 1 t chili powder
- 1 t ground cayenne pepper
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t ground nutmeg
- 1 – 1½ cups half and half
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, heat the butter until melted. Add the squash, potatoes, onion, and garlic and roast the veggies over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until the squash and potatoes are lightly roasted and the onions and garlic have browned.
Deglaze the pan with whiskey then add enough broth to just barely cover the vegetables; you may not need the full 4 cups. Incorporate the sugar and spice, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer. When the squash and potatoes are both very tender, remove the pot from heat and let it cool for 5 minutes.
In three batches, blend 1/3 of the solids, about ½ cup of the broth, and ½ cup of half and half until thick and smooth. Use a separate bowl to hold the blended 1st batch while you work on the second, and so on. Once you’ve blended all three batches, pour them back into your original pot (I like to leave some onion slices unblended for texture, but this is up to you), and bring the soup back up to serving temperature.
Enjoy this soup with a fresh baguette and a big hunk of brie. Garnish with a sprinkling of chili powder or a dollop of sour cream. And since you’ve already got it on hand, enjoy a nice glass of whiskey or a mug of spiked apple cider!
Lily works with Soliya, a not-for-profit organization using new media technologies to enable cross-cultural dialogue, education, and exchange between Western and predominantly Muslim societies. But on weekends you’ll find her spoiling in the riches of Grow NYC’s Greenmarkets, devouring Calixto Huaraches at The Brooklyn Flea, and feasting with friends. Lily lives in Brooklyn, New York. Find her on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/lilyhanson