This smooth soup has a velvety texture; besides making it so much easier to extract the flesh, roasting the squash adds extra nuttiness to the flavor.
Make Ahead: The squash can be roasted and the flesh scooped out and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or the squash flesh can be frozen for up to 6 months before making the soup. The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week or frozen, without the cream, for up to 6 months.
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup loosely packed sage leaves, finely chopped
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (may substitute water)
- 1 cup chilled heavy cream
- Kosher or sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Have a rimmed baking sheet at hand.
Use a fork to prick the squash skin all over, then lay the squash on the baking sheet. Roast until the skin has softened and a knife inserted in the flesh goes in easily, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly.
Cut the roasted squash in half lengthwise, through the stem. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Scoop the flesh into a bowl; discard the spent halves.
Heat the oil in a 2-quart or larger pot over medium heat, until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the onion and garlic and cook until they start to soften, 2 or 3 minutes. Add half the sage, reserving the rest for garnishing the soup, and cook for a few minutes, then add the roasted squash and the broth. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low or just enough so the liquid is barely bubbling around the edges. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, to bring all the flavors together.
While the soup is cooking, use a balloon whisk or hand-held electric mixer to beat the cream in a deep bowl so that it barely forms soft peaks.
Remove the soup from the heat. Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Divide among individual bowls. Top each portion with a dollop of the softly whipped cream and some of the remaining chopped sage. Serve hot.
From Food editor Joe Yonan.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.