From America's Test Kitchen Season 6: Cooking with Squash
Butternut squash soup strikes a perfect balance between nuttiness and sweetness. But getting that balance right depends on selecting just a few key ingredients so the sweet squash flavor can take center stage.
We found our answer to intense squash flavor in the squash’s seeds and fibers. We sautéed shallots and butter with the seeds and fibers, simmered them in water, then used the liquid to steam the unpeeled quartered squash (thereby eliminating the pesky task of peeling raw squash). Once cooled, we scooped the flesh from the skin and pureed the squash with the steaming liquid (strained of seeds and fibers) for a soup with a perfectly smooth texture. A little dark brown sugar added to the soup also intensified the sweetness of the squash. Finally, we enriched the soup with a splash of heavy cream and a pinch of nutmeg to round out this velvety soup’s rich flavors.
Makes 1 1/2 quarts, serving 4 to 6
If you don’t own a folding steamer basket, a pasta pot with a removable pasta insert works well. Some nice garnishes for the soup are freshly grated nutmeg, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of paprika, or Buttered Cinnamon-Sugar Croutons (see related recipe).