Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage

05Nov09

ButternutSoup_bowl

My my. I know there have been a higher than normal number of orange-colored soups appearing here as of late (like this and this). But bear with me just one more time because this one is a keeper. For real. Keeper! Yum! This butternut squash soup is so low in calories, and so rich with sweet, tangy flavor – what’s not to love? The pureed squash itself makes this dish smooth and creamy, and the apple cider and sage leaves give it dimension. We’ll be eating this again!

Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage (serves 4-6, from Food Network Magazine, October 2009)
1 Butternut Squash
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3/4 cup Shallots, diced
3 1/2 cups Chicken Stock (or veggie)
1 1/2 cup Apple Cider
1/2 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
S&P
2 Tbsp Butter
8-10 Sage Leaves

Peel the skin off the squash and cut into cubes, discarding seeds and pulp. Set the cubes to steam (10-15 min) or roast at 400 degrees (45 min). Meanwhile, heat up the oil in a large stock pot. Add the shallots and saute until tender. When tender, pour in the stock and cider, and bring to a boil. When the squash is tender, add it to the pot, along with the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Continue to heat over a medium flame. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. When hot, place the sage leaves, soft side up, in the butter and fry until fragrant (about 45 seconds). Add 5-6 of the leaves to the soup pot, and reserve the rest for serving. Use a standard blender to puree the squash chunks (remove them from the soup a few at a time, and return to the soup when pureed.) Or use an immersion blender and get it all over with at once. (Hey Santa, I could use an immersion blender ;)) Serve hot with the remaining sage and crusty bread and optional creme fraiche or sour cream to stir in!

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