The combination of both carrots and winter squash give this soup its rich orange color. Choose any winter squash you can easily peel. I like to use the honeynut variety, a smaller, much sweeter hybrid of butternut squash – which is also delicious. If you have homemade chicken stock on hand you can use it in place of the water, but it’s rich and tasty either way. Perfect for an autumn lunch or light dinner, winter squash soup is also a great first course for the holiday entertaining. You can make the soup in advance and reheat just before serving. It freezes well, too.
Winter Squash Soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 pounds winter squash, such as butternut or honeynut, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat butter and olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, garlic, thyme and 2 large pinches of salt to pot and sauté until vegetables soften, stirring frequently, about 10 to 12 minutes. Do not let the vegetables brown brown. Add squash, another large pinch of salt and 8 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat until squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs.
Puree soup in batches, in batches if necessary, until smooth, adding more water if soup is too thick. Taste for seasoning and adjust as you see fit. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
Enjoy this Winter Squash Soup as part of our Harvest Soup and Salad Evening.