I saw this recipe for butternut squash and shallot soup on Cooking Light and was skeptical that something with so few ingredients and no special seasonings or herbs would still be flavourful. I was so wrong - this was one of the most flavourful soups I've ever made! The roasted squash and shallots added the perfect hint of sweetness that was balanced nicely by the spicy kick of the ginger. I should note that some of the comments on the original recipe said that there wasn't enough ginger, and others said there was way too much, so I assume this is a matter of personal taste. I used a 1-inch piece of ginger and thought that was the perfect amount, but if you're worried about it being too strong, I'd suggest to roast the full amount of ginger, then gradually add it to the blender as you're blending the soup until you reach the amount you like.
This soup was so easy to make, and I loved that it had a thick and creamy texture without any cream. I think it would be elegant and impressive enough to serve as a first course at a dinner party, or homey and comforting enough to serve your family as a side to grilled cheese. I enjoyed it with a big slice of hearty bread slathered in roasted garlic (which I roasted alongside the squash) and it was delicious!
Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 4 – 6
4 cups of cubed (1-inch) peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
4 large shallots, peeled and halved
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 (1/2-inch to 1-inch) piece of peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Spread squash, shallots, garlic, and ginger onto a jelly-roll pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat, then spread out in an even layer on the pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. Let cool 5-10 minutes.
Place half of the squash mixture and half of the broth in a blender. Remove the center piece of the blender lid to allow steam to escape, and secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid to avoid splatters and blend until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan. Repeat with remaining squash and broth. Taste mixture and add more salt and pepper if desired. Cook in the saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm, seasoned with additional pepper if desired.