Opening the squash can be the toughest part. I recommend a large chef's knife and a mallet.
No, I'm not kidding.
Every good chef has a rubber mallet on hand!
You'll need some shallots.
Keep the seeds and strings from the center cavity, you saute them with the shallots to enhance the butternut flavor.
In a bit, you'll add some water and salt. You'll be using this broth to steam the squash.
Put the quartered squash into a steaming basket and lower over the broth. Cover and simmer until tender.
Later, you strain the liquid off and reserve it, scoop out the flesh, puree it with some of the liquid and then put it back into the pot. Add cream.
Finally, season with nutmeg and salt and enjoy!
I have to tell you, it was lovely, thick and tasty. A crusty bread and a salad would go nicely with it as well.
Butternut Squash Soup
From Cook's Illustrated The Best New Recipe, pp. 50-51.
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
3 lb butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and widthwise; seeds and strings scraped out and reserved
6 cups water
1/2 c heavy cream
1 tsp dark brown sugar
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Melt butter in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over med-low heat until foaming. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add seeds and strings from squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter turns a saffron color, about 4 minutes.
- Add water and 1 tsp salt to the pot and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to med-low, place squash cut-side down in a steamer basket, and lower the basket into the pot. Cover and steam until the squash is completely tender, about 30 min. Take pot off heat and use tongs to transfer squash to a rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, use spoon to scrape flesh from skin. Reserve the flesh in a bowl and compost skin.
- Strain the steaming liquid through a mesh strainer into a second bowl; compost solids in strainer. You should have ~2 1/2 to 3 cups liquid (I had ~4, so I didn't add all of it back to the soup or else it would have been too thin.). Rinse and dry pot.
- Puree the squash in batches in the blender, pulsing on low and adding enough reserved steaming liquid to obtain a smooth consistency. Transfer puree to the clean pot and stir in the remaining liquid, cream, and brown sugar. Warm the soup over med-low heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Stir in nutmeg and adjust seasonings, adding salt to taste. Serve immediately. (Soup can be refrigerated for several days in an air-tight container. When re-heating do not boil.)