This is not my first nor will not be my last post about the butternut. I love the dear squash. So versatile, it can be put in just about any course, sweet or savory. Jamie Oliver's cookbook, Jamie at Home, has lots of uses for squash. (He also gives lots of tips on planting and growing squash and other gardeny things.)
Janis makes the gorgeous frosted squash cupcakes from time to time and they never disappoint in all their sweet fallish goodness.
With the cold rain outside my kitchen window, last night, I started into making Jamie's 'Superb squash soup with the best Parmesan croûtons'. Jamie is pretty much the king of long, adjective packed recipe titles. Yum though. It was thick and rich and hot and easy to keep warm if you're not sure when your husband will get home for dinner. We all ate way too many of the Parm-y croutons...jibs looked like a glazed doughnut by the time dinner was over, all buttery and happy.
Do this soup and don't forget the croutons.
Superb Squash Soup with the Best Parmesan Croutons
2 small red onions, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary leaves picked
(I added a few sprigs of thyme too because my garden offered them.)
1/2-1 chili, seeded and chopped
sea salt and pepper
1 Large Butternut squash, unpeeled, chopped in chunks, seeds removed
6C good chicken stock (I put in 3/4C Sauvignon blanc as well)
Extra Virgin Olive oil
16 (or however many you want) slices of ciabatta bread (we used Caldense buns)
A block of Parmesan Cheese for grating
In a very large sauce pan, heat up the olive oil and add the chopped veg and herbs and chilis, except the squash. Stir and cook a few minutes until they soften up a bit.
Add the squash, stock and S.B. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer an hour or so.
While the soup is cooking, drizzle olive oil over both sides of bread and grate the cheese over both sides as well, packing the cheese on firmly with your hands.
Place in a clean fry pan and cook until brown on each side.
Back to the soup, I used an immersion blender to puree the soup but you could do it in batches in a blender or food processor too.
Divide into bowls and pass around the croûtons.
Jibs says, "Please remember to dip your croutons!"