The weather is finally turning here in Seattle, and today is the first day that Autumn feels like it has arrived. Of course, when the sky starts getting dark and rainy here, the first thing I turn to every year is comfort food! Soup is the ultimate comfort food for me, and the one I made this morning is making the most of the new seasonal produce flooding the market. I combined butternut squash, carrots, onion, parsnips and potatoes in this easy, and delicious soup. I puree all it at the end of cooking to create a velvety soup with a vibrant orange color- and for an added boost of luxury, I stir in a cup of cream before serving. I figure that I can get away with the cream considering all of the vitamins and fiber involved in the rest of the recipe!
I am just serving this to my family tonight with a loaf of hot and crusty sour dough bread- but you could add a salad or roast turkey sandwiches for an easy and light dinner.
¼ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and rough chopped
1 large parsnip, peeled and rough chopped
1 2lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and rough chopped
8 cups chicken stock, (if you want it vegetarian- just use vegetable stock)
2-3 additional cups water or chicken stock
Kosher salt to taste (about 1 Tbs)
1 cup heavy cream
fresh chives for garnish
In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add the carrots and coat them with the oil and the carrots. Add the potatoes, parsnip, and butternut squash, and stir to combine. Add the stock to the vegetables and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer the soup over low heat for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft.
Remove the soup from the hot stove top and let cool slightly. Puree the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender. The soup should get very creamy and velvety in texture. Make sure to puree until all of the lumps are gone. If you find that the soup is too thick for you (remember that it will thicken slightly when you reheat it), I like to add a few cups of additional stock or even water to thin it out. I will just whisk it in with a wire whip until the soup is again creamy, and everything is combined. Then you need to season the soup with kosher salt. I know a Tablespoon sounds like a lot, but you have to take into consideration what a large pot of soup this makes, and also the fact that all of these root vegetables just soak up the salt. So start slow, and add then taste, add then taste… you get the idea.
An additional option is to add a cup of cream (or even half and half) before serving. It just makes it a tiny bit silkier in texture and exciting in flavor- but if you are watching your waistline- don’t worry about it. Garnish it with some fresh chives or parsley and enjoy!