When I was younger (maybe 12? relatives feel free to correct me!) my grandparents packed up the entire family and brought us to Adams Rib restaurant in Norwalk Connecticut for a holiday meal (Thanksgiving? Or maybe Easter?). It should stand out in my mind solely due to the fact that we’ve always been a holiday-at-gramma’s house kind of bunch and here we all were, just once in our lives, passing the buck in favor of a deliciously third party-prepared meal. Such is not the case though for my everlasting memory.
What makes that day stand out in my mind is a soup so amazing, so life changing, that I’ve never been able to shake the craving for more from the very core of my existence. In the past almost two decades since that day, I’ve tested (wholly unsuccessfully) a plethora of “same” soups, but none have come even close to delivering the same level of awesomeness to my taste buds… until now. I know I know, you’re thinking “Jeebus Corrie, way to be dramatic!”. But trust me, it was gooooooooood.
Last night I prepared “just another soup” recipe I found online, having given up long ago on my high hopes for replication. But when I took that first bite, it transported me back in time to that fancy dinner table at Adams Rib Restaurant, spoon in hand and smile on my face. I feel like last night I unearthed a sacred secret of the universe.
Butternut Squash Soup
(adapted from THIS recipe)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, shredded
- 1 butternut squash, about 4ish pounds, roasted and removed from shell (roasting how-to in the “tips & tricks” section below)
- 3.5 cups of water
- 3 cubes vegetable bouillon
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of dried thyme
- black pepper to taste
1. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir the onion in the butter and oil until tender.
2. Mix the squash and carrots into the pot. Pour in the water and add the bouillon, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 30 to 45 minutes.
3. Remove from heat, and with an immersion blender, puree the soup mixture until smooth (or you can transfer to a blender/food processor and return to pot when done). Stir in heavy cream. Heat through, but do not boil. Serves 4-6.
Tips and tricks:
*How to roast a butternut squash: Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and guts, and place in a baking dish cut side down. Add two cups of water to the bottom of the dish. Roast in an oven at 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the shell can be pierced easily with a fork (the shell should look a little saggy baggy when it’s done, that’s how I tell by eye). Once it’s cool enough to handle, scoop out the “meat”.
*I wasn’t paying attention and kind of charred my onions. In my opinion, it added depth to the overall taste, so from now on I might just caramelize my onions. Or, you know, intentionally burn them a little 😉
*I used water and veggie bouillon because it’s what I had on hand, but you can also use vegetable stock, or possibly even chicken stock/broth. I left it as is because of the saltiness of the bouillon, but if you substitute make sure to salt to taste.
*This is actually more of a “butternut squash bisque”, but I just call everything soup. So don’t let my simpleton tendencies mislead you, this should be a super thick and creamy concoction that you end up with.
*You can play with the spice amounts if you’d like, but a word of warning: a little bit of thyme goes a long way.
*This is a vegetarian dish, but to make it vegan friendly substitute all olive oil for the butter, and I imagine coconut milk would compliment the squash beautifully in place of heavy cream. Toss in a few shakes of curry powder or garam masala with the coconut milk for a fresh take on the recipe!
*Speaking of heavy cream, if you’re waist-watching you can substitute light cream, half & half, thinned plain yogurt or sour cream. For the sake of flavor I don’t skip the cream component, but you could probably leave it out altogether and not worry about compromising the already creamy texture of the pureed squash..
What’s your favorite soup? Let me know in the comments section below!