Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons

winter squash with gruyere croutons

This recipe was published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Thursday, September 25, 2014.  It is from “The Epicurious Cookbook” by Tanya Steel and the editors of Epicurious (Clarkson Potter, 2012).  For those of you who did not see this recipe, we just had to share it.  You will notice that it includes two types of squash, butternut and acorn, but any type of winter squash could be used.

Ingredients for Soup:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (1 1/2 pounds) see cook’s note
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (1 1/2 pounds) see cook’s note
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar

Ingredients for Croutons:
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
24 (1/4- inch-thick) baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

Directions for Soup:
1.  In large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.
2.  Saute for 10 minutes or until tender.
3.  Add broth, all squash, thyme and sage.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is very tender.
4.  Working in batches, puree soup in blender.  Return soup to same pot.
5.  Stir in cream and sugar.  Bring to a simmer.  Season with salt and pepper.
(Note: Soup can be made 1 day ahead.  Chill.  Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

Directions for Croutons:
1.  Preheat broiler.  Butter 1 side of each bread slice.
2.  Arrange bread, butter side up, on baking sheet.  Broil for 1 minute or until golden.  Turn over.
3.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Sprinkle with thyme and sage.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4.  Broil for 1 minute or until cheese melts.

To serve:
Ladle soup into bowls.  Top each with croutons.  Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:
If you aren’t comfortable peeling uncooked squash with paring knife, cut squash into quarters, drizzle with olive oil and toss with a few garlic cloves.  Roast until soft enough to scoop out flesh.

Makes 8 servings.

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