This recipe has been a favorite of ours for over a decade. Both of our kids love it too, which is always a bonus, and fall is of course the perfect time of year to cook with winter squash since it’s currently so fresh and readily available (at least here in North Carolina). I am personally trying to get better at using foods when they are in season and preserving them for later in the year, and this soup freezes beautifully so it is worth it to double or triple the recipe.
This dish would also be a great starter for all those upcoming holiday dinners. One year my husband and I outdid ourselves by serving this soup in a scooped out acorn squash “bowl.” That was long before kids (and food blogs) when we had a little more time on our hands, but it sure was fun to “wow” our guests back in our adventurous days in the kitchen. No matter what you decide to do with this dish though I assure you that you can’t go wrong because it is delish!
- 1 medium to large butternut or other winter squash (between 3 and 4 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 2 large leeks, white part only cleaned thoroughly and chopped (you could substitute one onion for the leeks if you prefer)
- 4 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 5 cups chicken stock or broth (homemade stock is easy and highly recommended – here’s a recipe for making it in a pot and here’s a recipe for making it in a slow cooker)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt (if using salted store-bought chicken broth then taste the soup before adding any salt)
- Optional: Chopped pistachio nuts and/or fresh sage leaves for garnish
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Slice the squash in half long ways and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet. If you line the baking sheet with foil or parchment paper the clean up will be easier.
- Bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until the thick part of the squash can easily be pierced with a fork. Let cool then scoop out the pulp and discard the skin.
- Note: This step can be done in advance.
- In a large soup pot over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the chopped leeks and ginger. Cook for 5 – 8 minutes until tender, but not browned.
- Add the squash pulp to the pot along with the 5 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and breaking up the squash with the back of your spoon, for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Puree the soup either with a hand immersion blender or in a counter top blender. I highly recommend a hand immersion blender if you like to make soups because you’ll end up with a lot fewer dirty dishes.
- After the soup has been pureed, stir in the cream and salt (to taste).
- Ladle into soup bowls and serve warm topped with chopped sage and pistachios.
Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.