Being a regular reader you are aware that we eat a lot of soup, especially, butternut squash. I am always trying to perfect the recipe. I love the texture of this squash and how creative you can be with the ingredients; meatless, only veggies, pasta, creamy, no cream, just so many options. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the variations I make but am still longing for the perfect bowl. You know; thick, creamy (without the calories), not too sweet and slightly savory. Ninety perfect of the creamy textured soups I make do not have any milk or cream. I use the food processor (you can use a blender) to make them ultra creamy with less the calories. I am pretty sure I have come pretty darn close to perfection this time.
I kept is simple, butternut squash, shallots, garlic, veggie stock and ancho chili powder for some depth and a bit of a smoky flavor. As well I wanted to bring in a bit of the forest by adding a little more texture (I am a bit texture freak) so I made a medley of mushrooms that was lightly seasoned with olive oil, Maldon salt and a little Ezpeletako Bipera (Basque paprika) and served it as a garnish with the soup. The mushrooms were slightly spicy which was the perfect companion for the sweet butternut squash soup. The perfect soup to ease yourself into winter.
Ancho Chili Butternut Squash Soup with Mushroom Medley
** serves 4
1 1/2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
3 cups veggie or chicken stock
1 small shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ancho chili
Heat olive oil in a large soup pan, over medium heat. Add the shallots, turn heat to low, cook for about 5 minutes; stirring occasionally.
Add the butternut squash and ancho chili powder, stir and let cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and the stock. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a low simmer, cover and let cook until very tender, about 25 minutes. It will depend on how large your chunks of squash are.
Season to taste with kosher salt.
Remove from heat and let sit about 10 minutes. Using a food processor or blender, puree in small batches, then combine back in the same soup pot. Gently reheat over low heat. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with the mushroom medley. Serve. Eat.
Gently clean mushrooms with a paper towel or mushroom brush. Do not use water or your mushrooms will become a water-logged sponge.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan, over medium heat. Add the mushrooms. Stir occasionally and cook until slightly soft but still holding their shape, about 3 – 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with the salt and Ezpeletako Bipera.