Butternut Squash Soup for an October Lunch with Friends

Fall is in the air in the Carolinas and it’s the perfect time for making hearty soups and arranging friendly gatherings.  One of my favorite soups this time of year is butternut squash soup.

My sister-in-law Yvonne is visiting from Kentucky and we invited our friend Barbara to join us for lunch.  The table is set in the breakfast room to enjoy the outside view from the adjacent Carolina Room.

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I love to make hearty soups… seems like magic to add, blend and stir…and  end up with something new and warm to enjoy. I make it differently each time based on what I have available and want to try.  This is the soup for this day.

1 large onion, minced

4 garlic cloves

1 Tablespoon butter and splash of olive oil

Wash and slice one large onion and sauté in a splash of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.  (Adding minced pieces of celery is optional.) When the onion is nearly translucent, add 4 garlic cloves, salt and pepper and heat for a few minutes longer..

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In a large pot, whisk together squash, vegetable stock, honey and cornstarch. When well mixed, set pot on heat and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally.

1 can butternut squash

1 large carton vegetable stock (broth) (chicken stock OK too)

1/4 cup honey

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 Tablespoon butter

1 cup cooked carrots, sliced  (or one can of carrots with liquid)

1 large white potato, previously baked and cut in bite size chunks

Spices: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, curry

When squash mixture boils, add cooked onions and garlic, cooked carrots, baked potato, butter and spices. Begin adding spices at 1/4 teaspoon and increase to get the flavor you prefer.  Use a pinch of curry, as a little goes a long way.  (I use curry with 2-3  basil leaves stored in the big curry jar to infuse savory basil flavor… as suggested by my dear Chinese friend Leai).

When the soup returns to a boil, turn heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes to blend flavors. The last couple of minutes on the heat, gently whisk in the milk. . Serve soup with a tiny sprinkling of nutmeg to enhance the aroma. Serve with great breads and crackers and a tossed salad with strawberries or other fruit.

The breadbasket for this meal holds raisin bread, pumpkin bread (not the sweet bread) and crackers. (I crocheted an edge on some material I liked for napkins.  I think it adds a nice touch.  I don’t do any fancy crocheting… just the basics.)

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What could  be  better  than  homemade  squash  soup, a sunny Fall day and  good conversation with friends. CIMG2181

Sue Marquis Bishop 2014