Of all the things I've cooked, I don't think anything has needed as much tweaking as making a squash soup. The base part is easy, but making it over-the-top can be tricky.
For the base:
- One squash - butternut squash is my preference for soup
- One medium potato - to thinken the squash
- Stock - I like home-made chicken stock, but any will do to your liking
- Olive oil and/or butter
- One Onion
- One clove of garlic
- Cream - whipping cream or table cream, depending on how thick you want your soup.
- Salt, pepper, and nutmeg
Chop the onion and garlic give them a light browning in olive oil or butter. Add the stock and cubed squash and potato. Cook covered over low heat until the squash is soft throughout. Add the cream, salt, pepper, and fresh grated nutmeg. Blitz the cooked soup into a smooth consistency.
So that's the base of the soup. Unfortunately, I always find it a little bland. On my last iteration, here are the extras I added:
- Half a home-made chipotle pepper - adds a touch of heat to the back of tongue and hint of smokiness
- Dollap of unsalted butter - for extra creamieness in traditional French style
- A few sprigs of parsley - for that tangy grassyness
- Truffle oil (or slices of truffle if you happen to have some) - gives that extra little earthiness.
- Shot of Sherry - adds that earthy and almost "mouldy" depth
- Anchovies - for extra saltiness and umami to fill your mouth
- Fennel seeds - just a touch to round things out a bit
- Dash of Indian Saffron - for the exotic hint
As I said, no other dish changes as much with every preparation as squash soup. There's no right or wrong. Just keep tasting until you think this batch is perfect.
Once it is, there's nothing quite like that warm, rich, creaminiess and those buttery and earthy notes of the squash to warm up a cool, crisp fall day.