Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons

Bon Appétit |  December 1996

  • In France, this soup would be prepared with a baking pumpkin. A mixture of butternut and acorn squashes mimics the French pumpkin’s exceptional taste and texture. Pour a lightly chilled rosé with this colorful first course. Either a Rhône Tavel or a Provençal Bandol would be lovely.

Servings: Serves 8.

Ingredients

Soup
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage

1/4 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons sugar

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

Preparation

For soup:
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons:
Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

Hints: I made this a couple of days ago and it was amazingly good. I did read some reviews and followed the advice…cut the squash in two, throw away seeds,  place cut side down in a pan (I put mine on a silpat).  I also placed the garlic cloves in the cavity, unpeeled. Roast at 350 for about 1 hour. Cool slightly and add to sautéed onions with broth. Puree. Definitely use the croutons. It is really good.

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