Easy, Creamy Butternut Squash Soup...Perfect as an Amuse Bousche. I often get inspired by the places I visit... along with the food that I might eat there. I usually come home and try to duplicate/create a recipe that has left its mark on me. This was one of them...though slightly changed. While in Ireland, my husband and I had the opportunity to dine at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant. We were served an amuse bousche.... pumpkin soup, compliments of the chef. I thought it was sooo good! It was rather creamy and luxurious, and the small amount of soup was just perfect. It wasn't too heavy, as if I would have eaten a whole bowl . I guess I also loved the fact that it was served in an espresso cup :)... So, I came home and thought of creating a soup similar to the pumpkin soup. I had bought a butternut squash and wanted to use that... feel free to use pumpkin instead. I found a recipe by Gordon Ramsay... a Spiced carrot and butternut squash soup and started adapting it. This is my version, but feel free to make the original. This soup comes together so quick, that it is amazing! The color is really bright and so beautiful...perfect for the fall. Last, but not least, the soup is quite economical and quite healthy for you....if you don't overdo the cream:). Since we are quite close to Thanksgiving, I thought it would be nice to share at least one recipe with you:)! This soup would be perfect as an amuse bousche...a fine tasting of what is yet to come on your Thanksgiving table. If you are expecting a rather large group you can easily double or triple the soup. The soup is also easy to tweak to your liking. Try changing the herbs and spices ..add some curry, ginger, or even some garam masala. But, I loved the tinge of smokiness and spice the chipotle added.... and since I had some fresh thyme growing in a pot, I used that as well. But, I also happen to love using thyme in my soups. Overall, a lovely and delicious soup! The soup makes about 3-4 (1 cup) servings or easily 8 espresso cups. Hope you enjoy...
You will need: inspired and slightly adapted from Gordon Ramsay's... Spiced carrot and squash soup
1/2 butternut squash, diced (about 2 cups)
1-1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
1/8 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
1/4-1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder or use chile flakes
salt/pepper, to taste
1/4-1/3 cup half and half, (you could use cream, milk or even chicken stock)
croutons for garnish
Parmesan for garnish
fresh thyme for garnish
Peel and dice butternut squash.
Peel and dice carrot and onion. Mince garlic.
To a soup pot, add 2 TBS olive oil. Heat oil and add chopped onion and garlic. Season with a bit of salt.
Add diced carrot and squash.
Saute for a minute or so. Add 1 cup chicken stock, making sure the vegetables are pretty much covered in liquid. Add chipotle pepper or chile flakes, thyme and nutmeg. Season with a bit more salt, if needed.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until squash is tender. This can be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Since I live at a higher altitude, mine cooks faster. Place cooked squash and liquid in a blender(I used my VitaMix).
Blend till smooth.
Place the pureed mixture back into the pot. It is at this point that you can leave it the way it is...it is a bit thicker... or you can thin it out with some sort of liquid. You can definitely use heavy cream...it will be luxuriuous! Or you can opt to use a lower fat...like I did, by using half and half. There are other lower fat options: you could use milk or even add more chicken stock. You might need to adjust the amount of half and half by adding more or less ...depending on how thin or thick you want your soup to be.
Pour the soup in espresso cups and garnish with thyme leaves,croutons, Parmesan cheese or just leave it plain.
You can likewise pour it in soup bowls.