Butternut Squash and Leek Soup

I get a lot of requests this time of year for squash and pumpkin soup recipes.  Some squash soups can be found here and here.  I’ll work on a pumpkin soup soon.

Thought it would be nice if I came up with something new in terms of squash soups.  A friend really likes to cook with leeks, so I thought that sounded like a good complement to butternut squash.  Baking the squash is really the easiest way, but you can alternately peel, cube and steam it.  I think we’ve known each other long enough that you realize I hate peeling.  Despise. It.  And will do almost anything to avoid it.  Besides, baking squash on a cold day adds a nice ambiance to the house.  You can also cook the squash a day ahead to ease preparation.

Without further ado:

Butternut and Leek Soup

  • 1 to 2 (about 2 1/2 pounds) butternut squash, halved and seeds scooped out
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 leek , white and green parts only, washed and sliced thin (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Sour cream & chives for garnish

Baking dish, large saucepan or dutch oven and blender

Place squash, cut side down on baking dish, add a bit of broth, enough to cover the entire bottom of the pan.  Cook at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Let cool and then scoop flesh from skin and toss skins.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add leek and 1 cup cooked squash and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the squash begins to caramelize and leeks soften.  Remove squash and leek to blender.  Add 1/2 cup of broth to saucepan to deglaze, then add remaining broth, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, salt, pepper and cayenne to saucepan.  Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and let simmer.

Meanwhile, in blender (do in batches if needed) add  baked squash and 1 to 2 cups water to the squash and leek mixture and blend until completely smooth. Add to saucepan, along with any remaining water (total 2 cups).  Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Remove and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs, serve with sour cream and chives.