Hello one and all!
Or rather, a select few...
I know I had stated that I would write immediately upon arrival to my southern culinary journey, however, complications occurred and the possibility of doing so was gone.
I am back! Here now with documentation of my exploration and many things to share.
First up on the chopping block:
Southern Style Butternut Squash Soup.
Our first night in Virginia it seemed a soup was necessary. The comfort of warmness in your stomach when you're in a new place is and was wonderful.
Here's my recipe with a few additions:
You will need about 4 pounds butternut squash (2 large)
4 cups chicken stock (or more depending on how you like the thickness of your soup to be)
1 bunch of sage leaves
2 medium yellow onions minced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil (to prevent burning)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 or more cups of chopped cooked ham
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Peel and cube the butternut squash into a good size, about 1 inch cubes.
Place the squash onto a sheet pan and coat in 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkling liberally with salt and pepper. Place the squash into the preheated oven and roast until tender, about 45 minutes.
After the squash is nicely caramelized, in a large saucepan heat the oil and butter until nicely hot
Saute the onions until translucent, adding the garlic next to prevent burning. Burned garlic is a foul taste and you might want to consider starting the onion mixture over if it occurs.
Add about 5 chopped sage leaves to this and cook until sage is no longer raw.
Add the squash and stock, cook until flavors meld together, about 20 minutes.
In 2 batches, place the soup in a blender and puree until desired thickness. Failure to do this in batches may cause a large mess! Hot soup expands as it blends, so you may make your own conclusions. You may also use an immersion blender if you have one.
Add the blended soup back to the saucepan and introduce the ham. Cook until well heated, altering seasonings where your taste desires.
You may garnish with sage leaves and some more freshly ground pepper.
I generally find butternut squash soup to be very sweet. The addition of sage gives it that classic familiarity we associate with butternut squash soup, and the ham adds a wonderful saltiness along with much needed texture.
I sincerely hope you love this soup as much as I did!
After all, soup should always be shared.