Brandy-laced Squash Soup

I usually like to post the recipe first and then make my comments. However, I got this squash soup recipe from Leslie on her food blog and the soup turned out so well every time that I wouldn't change a thing. I've made this squash soup several times and it turned out absolutely delicious every single time. All my guests loved the soup and this is definitely a keeper in my recipe book. For this reason, I want to keep a copy of the recipe on my own blog which I often refer to when I re-make these dishes.

6 lbs Buttercup squash
4 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp (1/4 stick) Butter, unsalted
2-3 Onions, chopped
2 Cinnamon sticks, broken in half
2 Bay leaves, broken in half
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
1.2 L Chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1/2 c. Brandy
1 can (375 mL) Evaporated milk, fat free
Brown sugar (to taste)

1/4 c. Sour cream, fat free
1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
Dash of Ground cumin

Take 4 medium size butternut squashes, wash them and cut in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and brush the flesh with olive oil.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lay the squash halves on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat (SILPAT) or parchment paper, cut side down. Roast until the flesh is tender, approximately 45 min to 1 hour depending on the size of your squash.

When the squash is done, let cool for 20 min. Scoop out the flesh and set aside. (Discard any dark burnt bits as they will show up as dark flakes in your soup.)

On a small frying pan, melt the butter with the remaining olive oil. Sauté the onions with the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, salt and pepper, until the onions are soft. Add the brandy and simmer until most of the liquids evaporates. Discard the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.

In a large pot, stir together the onions, squash and chicken broth. Puree the soup with a blender and transfer the soup to the slowcooker. Add in evaporated milk.

At this point, you can refrigerate the soup overnight and reheat it the next day in the slowcooker at its lowest setting. I reheated the soup using the 10-hour setting but only heated it for 6 hours.

(Alternatively, you can use a regular pot for the soup and reheat the soup on the stove top.)

Before serving, mix together the sour cream, ground cinnamon and ground cumin. Garnish the soup with the sour cream mixture.

Useful Tips:

1. I always make the soup the day before, partly to reduce the work on the second day when I am busy preparing other courses. The soup also tastes better as "leftovers" after the different flavours have a chance to blend overnight.

2. I don't know how to pick the "sweet" squash and therefore, my squash soup isn't always as sweet as it should be. My remedy to this sweetness problem is brown sugar. Do a little taste test before serving. If you feel the soup lacks a bit of sweetness, add 2-3 Tbsp of brown sugar and stir.


Blue said…
I have a tip on "roasting" the squash. I did it with Spaghetti squash this past weekend. Instead of roasting them in the oven which take a long time, you can do it in microwave. I saw this on the internet and tried it. I washed the squash and use a fork and make lot of holes in the squash and put it into microwave at 70% power and 5 minutes at a time and flip the squash every five minutes and check to see if it's done. I think my squash took around 17 minutes. You will know is done because it will feel mushy (not as firm). Take it out of the microwave and let it cool for at least half hour before you cut it open so it's not too hot to handle. At that time you can take out the seeds and scope out the flash.