BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH SAVORY BRITTLE
MAJOR KEY: Make sure your squash is tender af. If you blend in a blender, don’t overfill the blender. The soup is hot and if that thing explodes on you it’ll feel like Al Green when he got hit with them hot grits. And wear gloves when you peel and deal with butternut squash skin. If you get that filmy stuff on your hands rub with lemon juice and use hot soapy water.
- 2 butternut squash (about 4 3/4 pounds total), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded & cut into chunks
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups thinly sliced onion
- 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon harissa (optional, its for a drop of heat)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon vindaloo curry (optional)
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger or ginger paste
- 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick and a couple star anise in a sachet (spice bag)
- 1 tablespoon Tastic Spice original*
- 5 cups (or more) low-salt vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup half and half (optional)
- Savory brittle (recipe below) or fresh herbs (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Place squash in bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. In a small bowl, combine spices and sprinkle on to squash. Toss squash in bowl to mix.
- Bake in oven until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Cover pot and cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add squash, apple, cinnamon stick/star anise and 5 cups chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard sachet.
- Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Or you can blend in pot with an immersion blender. Return soup to pot and finish with half and half if using. Adjust seasoning as needed.
- To thin soup add more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with herb of choice or brittle and serve.
For the Brittle:
- 2 cups
- granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup or agave nectar
- 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup or agave in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until the mixture is an even, deep amber color (about 345°F on a candy thermometer), about 20 minutes more.
Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the hazelnuts, rosemary, and salt. Pour onto the baking sheet and use a rubber spatula to spread it into an even layer. Let cool completely until hardened and then use your hands to break it into pieces.
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