Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons


When I was single and living on my own, I pretty much lived on salad and soup that came in boxes. You know, the Trader Joe's Butternut Squash, Carrot Ginger, and Tomato with Roasted Bell Pepper. I had no idea that these soups were so easy to make! This soup takes very little prep if you buy pre-cut and prepared butternut squash in the store. Throw in some onion, garlic, and sage, and you're done! And just because I wanted it to be extra special, I included a recipe for homemade parmesan croutons. 

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Servings: 4

Soup:
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, cut into large chunks*
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh sage, finely chopped

Croutons:
1/2 loaf french bread (preferably day-old), cubed
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

To prepare the soup, in a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened. Add the butternut squash and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 additional minute. Stir in the broth and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the broth has reduced. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender), puree the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

To prepare the croutons, preheat the oven to 400°. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat. Sprinkle parmesan over the top. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Serve with the soup.

*Pre-cut butternut squash can usually be found in containers in the refrigerated section of the produce aisle. If using whole butternut squash, buy a 2 lb. squash, then peel, seed, and cut into large chunks. 

Source: A Much Kneaded original

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