Recipe Review: Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Soup

I have folders where I keep all the recipes I tear from magazines (organized by category):

Lately I've been trying to go through them and make the dishes that have been sitting too long.  Tonight, it was Rachael Ray's Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Soup, which I have had in my folder since...wait for it...2007!  It was time to either make it or get rid of it.  So here's how mine turned out:

The verdict?  I probably won't make it again.  The roasted garlic combined with the roasted squash and the caramelized onion just made for a soup that was waaaay too cloying for my taste - it was really sweet, guys.  It would have been a total wash had it not been for the tartness of the yogurt to balance out the sweet.  If you make this, the yogurt is a necessity. 

I did make some changes to the recipe.  First, before serving, while the soup was on the heat, I added a tablespoon of heavy cream.  I wanted to loosen it up and smooth it out a bit.  I also had some leftover pancetta breadcrumbs from this ah-mazing recipe a couple nights ago and added that as well.

It was also a weird choice for Super Bowl dinner - I'm not quite sure what I was thinking - but it was fine.  

Ugh. Can't you sense my ambivalence about this one?  A lot of effort but not enough ROI (the marketer in me...Return on Investment).  As stated earlier, I won't make this again - there are just too many stellar, mind-blowing recipes out there to settle for blah.

Eat, drink, and weed the collection (that's librarian talk for de-cluttering...)

Adapted from Rachael Ray

  • 1 butternut squash (about 2-3/4 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded
    4 cloves garlic, peeled
    2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
    Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
    4 sprigs fresh thyme
    1 large yellow-fleshed potato, such as Yukon gold (about 8 oz), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
    2-1/2 c chicken broth
    1 tbsp heavy cream or half-and-half
    1/4 c plain yogurt
    1/4 c caramelized onions
    2 tsp finely chopped fresh chives
    One 12-ounce loaf of sourdough bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1-inch cubes
    1/4 c canola oil
    2 oz thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
    2 tbsp chopped sage
    1 tbsp chopped rosemary

    Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the cut sides of the squash and the garlic cloves with 1 tbsp of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut sides down on the baking sheet, tucking the garlic cloves and thyme into the squash cavities. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes.

    Meanwhile, pulse the bread cubes in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. In a large skillet, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the oil. Add the pancetta, sage, rosemary and bread crumbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the crumbs and pancetta are browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

    Meanwhile, place the potato in a medium saucepan and fill with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a low boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

    Meanwhile (lots of meanwhiles to accomplish while the garlic and squash are roasting!), heat a stainless pan to medium-hot.  Add thinly sliced onion to the dry pan.  Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are slightly browned and softened.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil and a ¼ tsp of salt.  Turn heat low, stirring occasionally, until very soft and fragrant.

    When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the peel and the thyme. cut the squash into large pieces. In a blender, working in batches, puree the squash, garlic cloves, potato, cream, and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper.

    In a medium saucepan, heat the soup over medium-low heat until warmed through. Divide among 4 serving bowls and top with the yogurt, onions and chives.

    Note: Make sure to taste before serving to make sure seasoning is right.

    Make ahead: Bread crumbs and onions can be made ahead of time.  Heat before serving.


Unknown said...

I've done something slightly different with all my recipes from magazines--put them in four folders marked Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. I usually base it on the date of the magazine. Helps us to keep eating with the seasons!

Love your blog, by the way--keep it up!

Unknown said...

Jennifer, I'm embarrassed to admit that I hadn't even thought of that...and it's completely brilliant. Especially when I have some sort of fish pasta...do I put it under my fish tab or my pasta tab? It's driven me to distraction.

Once we move, my first order of business is to rearrange my folders - thanks for the inspiration!