A DROP OF ACIDITY: This creamy butternut squash soup can benefit from a little… (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)
This soup from Times Food editor Russ Parsons tastes so complex your guests will be guessing what's in it. Really, though, it's not much more than squash itself, pureed. The final addition of vinegar is crucial, though, to keep the flavors focused. The recipe is demonstrated in the video at left by Russ Parsons.
Creamy butternut squash soup is one of the favorite holiday recipes we've collected in our "Los Angeles Times Holiday Handbook." The book shares more than 110 seasonal recipes to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's. We’ve also updated last year's "Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies," so it now includes 65 recipes from a wide range of sources, from world-famous pastry chefs to home cooks.
Each book is $4.99, and they are available at the Los Angeles Times bookstore for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.
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Creamy butternut squash soup with ginger
Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
1 (2 1/2 -pound) butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
Apple cider vinegar
Crème fraîche or sour cream
Toasted slivered almonds
1. Peel the squash, using a sharp vegetable peeler. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut in 1-inch chunks.
2. Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger root and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the diced squash, water and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook at a low simmer until the squash is tender enough to smash with a spoon, about 30 minutes.
3. Puree the soup, either using an immersion blender or grinding it in several stages in a regular blender. The soup should be completely smooth and a little thicker than heavy cream. Ladle the soup through a strainer into a clean soup pot, discarding any bits of squash or ginger left behind.
4. Heat the soup through once more and season to taste, adding salt first and then the vinegar. Add the vinegar one-half teaspoon at a time; it will take a little more than 1 tablespoon.
5. To serve, stir the crème fraîche to loosen the texture. Ladle the soup into wide bowls and spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche in a decorative pattern onto each. Scatter a few toasted slivered almonds over the soup and serve immediately.
Each serving: 163 calories; 3 grams protein; 22 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 9 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 20 mg. cholesterol; 795 mg. sodium.