I'm really enjoying this autumn season, the leaves are changing colors, the air is chilled, so over the weekend one thing I didn't want to miss was the Japanese Garden here in Portland, I had read it's best viewed in the fall and it is a magnificent garden.
I suppose these are not the traditional fall photos we've come to expect, but it was a pleasure to tour this garden and wanted to share these pictures with you.
Keeping with my fall theme - apples and pumpkins - I thought I'd try out this squash soup. It's really fantastic. And it's a very forgiving recipe. I didn't have quite enough squash as the recipe required, but I had some pumpkin puree left over (from the ice cream!) and it worked out fine. The recipe had 8 cups of squash, I had 4 cups (from 2 medium sized squash, note: not enough), so I added about 1 cup of the pumpkin puree, and then I reduced some of the other ingredients, 1/2 onion instead of 1 whole, 2 garlic cloves not 4, 4 cups of chicken broth rather than 5, and I kept the fresh herbs the same, so even with all this tweaking it tastes absolutely delicious. And I opted out of the sugar that's added at the end, did a taste test and it really didn't need it at all. I suspect I'll be making more soups as this was very easy to make and very satisfying to eat! Oh and the croutons, definitely make these, it's not something I would normally make but it only took a few minutes and they are perfect with this soup. Hope you enjoy and are having a fabulous fall season!
Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons
(adapted from Epicurious)
- 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 5 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 4 cups 1-inch pieces peeled acorn squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
- 1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 24 1/4-inch-thick baguette bread slices
- 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)
Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.