I think every recipe blog on the planet has a butternut squash soup recipe. So in an effort to fit in, here is mine. For an easy basic one you can simply substitute butternut squash for the carrots in my creamy carrot soup.
I thought butternut squash soup could be more and wanted a greater complex flavor profile than just sweet kissed with spice. The idea of mushrooms in the soup happened the time leftover sauteed mushrooms made their way into some leftover butternut squash soup. I also wanted to do the soup with a minimal amount of cream, so a balance of flavors was even more important because I didn’t want the mushrooms to overpower the squash.
White mushrooms didn’t add enough flavor, the shiitakes were good, but it wasn’t great, dried cepes or porcini (the same thing, one is french the other italian) and especially morels over powered the delicate butternut squash flavor and made the bright orange color muddy, but the addition of chanterelles is ethereal and their flavor highlights the squash’s like no other. They are also a golden color and therefore the squash’s orange color shone.
I did some more research and read in Cook’s Illustrated how they made a stock with the seeds and fiber from the inside of the squash to add more “squashy goodness” to the soup. I experimented some more and found that beside concentrating the flavors, roasting the squash saved a ton of work. I didn’t have to peel it or struggle to cut it into chunks. Just cut in half, take out the seeds, etc for the stock and roast until tender and starting to brown. The skin now easily peels off and it cuts like butter.
The Butternut Squash Chanterelle Mushroom Bisque
- 2 -2 1/2 pounds whole butternut squash
- 2 allspice berries
- 1/2 oz dried chanterelle mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 sm rib celery or 2 T celery leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped leeks
- 2-3 C stock or water
- 1 teaspoon of sage or one half teaspoon dried
- 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Salt, pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup cream
- Opt splash of hot sauce (sriracha has this way of making almost anything better)
Cut the butternut squash in half, scoop out & reserve the seeds and fiber.
Roast the squash (It doesn’t have to be peeled) in 400° oven until soft, about 25 to 40 minutes depending on the size.
Meanwhile cook the seeds & fiber in a pan with 2 cups of water and the allspice. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 -30 minutes. *easier and quicker idea below
Rehydrate the mushrooms in 3 C hot water for 20 to 30 minutes.
In a larger pot sauté the onions, carrots, celery and sauté until they are softened. (if you are going to use water for your remaining broth add an extra 1 cup all together, of onion, leek and carrot). Add the leeks and saute until they are softened. I do this because the leeks, like garlic will brown first and I don’t want to take the chance of them burning, which I have done before.
Add the drained mushrooms, reserving the liquid but be cautious about any grit that may remain in the bottom. Sauté for a few more minutes.
Strain the squash stock into a measuring cup and add the reserved mushroom liquid making sure you didn’t add any of the grit that may be on the bottom. Add more stock or water to make 4 cups. Add this to the pot with the butternut squash, sage and nutmeg.
Simmer covered for 30 to 40 minutes.
Puree with a hand blender. Add the cream, salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Butternut Squash Chanterelle Mushroom Bisque
*As you may remember, I do not really like extra steps, so I now put the seeds, fiber and allspice into a large tea strainer and throw it in the pot with everything else.
Note: If you are lucky enough to find fresh chanterelles, slice them nicely, take the most beautiful slices and saute in some butter with a sprinkle of salt. Use these as a garnish. Add the unpretty ones to the soup when you are sauteing the veggies.