Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter and Sage

I love all things butternut squash and the flavors of my go-to Butternut Squash Soup are so rich and creamy, it is sure to be a star on your table. I first started using this recipe when I came upon one from Thomas Keller, and I don’t stray away from it too far. The soup hosts a fantastic balance of sweet flavors from the honey, carrots, and squash – to a savory array of earthy flavors like leeks, shallots, onion, and the herbs from the bouquet garni. You could stop there and have an amazing dish to serve your friends and family – – but of course with Thomas Keller’s inspiration, we don’t.

The dish is finished with brown butter right before serving along with some crème fraîche and nutmeg. I also love to throw on some salted, crispy sage leaves for an extra garnish. Butternut Squash Soup is a wonderful dish to make ahead, it just gets sweeter and better while it sits in the refrigerator. This recipe is very much a labor of love, but some of the steps can be broken up throughout the day and at different times. You can roast the squash and let it cool ahead before you are ready to handle it and you could also purée it at your own convenience. In addition, the garnishes can be made separately if you desire. This dish does not miss a year on my Thanksgiving table and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Butternut Squash Soup with Brown Butter and Sage

Recipe by The Work From Home ChefDifficulty: Medium
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking Time

2

hours

Thomas Keller’s Butternut Squash Soup features savory ingredients like leeks, onions, and shallots – balanced out by the sweetness of the butternut squash, honey and carrots.

Ingredients

  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • 1 3 to 3 1/2 pound butternut squash

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 pinch Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

  • 2 sprigs sage

  • 1 cup thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick)leeks, white and light green parts only

  • 1/2 cup thinly (1/8-inch thick) sliced carrots

  • 1/2 cup thinly (1/8-inch thick) sliced shallots

  • 1/2 cup thinly (1/8-inch thick) sliced onions

  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

  • 4 tablespoons of honey (depending on sweetness preference)

  • 6 cups vegetable broth, plus extra if needed

  • 8 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs Italian parsley, 2 bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, all wrapped in a bouquet garni packet made of 2 green leek leaves.

  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter

  • 1 splash extra virgin olive oil, to garnish

  • Nutmeg Crème Fraîche
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche

  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

  • Crispy Sage Leaves
  • Canola oil

  • 12 sage leaves

  • 1 pinch Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

Directions

  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut off the neck of the squash and set aside. Cut the bulb in half and scoop out the seeds and discard. Brush each half with canola oil (about 1 1/2 teaspoons). Sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and tuck a sprig of sage into each half. Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, or until cooked completely tender. Remove the squash from the oven and let cool, then scoop out and reserve the flesh, discarding the sage.
  • While the squash is roasting, peel away the skin from the neck of the squash. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces – this should yield about 4 cups.
  • Add the remaining canola oil to a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, carrots, shallots, and onions and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add the diced squash, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook for about 3 minutes. Be sure to avoid a high heat as you do not want your squash or garlic to color in this step.
  • Stir in the honey and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the stock and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes more, until the squash is tender.
  • Add the roasted squash and simmer on low for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Remove from the heat and discard the bouquet garni. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree in batches. Season to taste.
  • Heat a medium skillet over high heat. When the skillet it very hot, add the butter and rotate the skillet over the heat to brown the butter evenly, scraping up any bits that settle on the bottom of the pan. The butter will begin to foam and the second the foaming has subsided, and the butter is a rich hazelnut color, pour it back into the soup. Do not leave the butter in the pan too long as it can burn and turn black very quickly – and you DO NOT want that. (If you are making this soup ahead, do not add the brown butter until right before serving.)
  • Garnish with nutmeg crème fraîche, crispy sage leaves, and a splash of extra virgin olive oil and serve.
  • Nutmeg Crème Fraîche
  • Place the crème fraîche in a small metal bowl and stir in nutmeg to taste. Whisk until the crème fraîche holds a shape – cover and refrigerate.
  • Crispy Sage Leaves
  • Heat 1/8 inch of canola in a small skillet. Line a plate with paper towels. When the oil is very hot, add the sage leaves and cook for about 30 seconds – turning the leaves to ensure they crisp up on both sides. When the crackling stops, remove the leaves quickly and dry on the prepared plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

  • This recipe can be made up about 3-4 days in advance. If you do so, just be sure not to add the brown butter or any garnishes until you are ready to serve.
  • You can also freeze butternut squash soup for about 3 months, but again, do not add the brown butter or any garnishes, if you plan on freezing until you are ready to serve.
 

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