Sunday, September 27, 2015

Honey Butternut Soup

Bowl of Honey Butternut Soup with Honey and Yogurt Garnish
Ringed with Honey and Dolloped with Yogurt

Recipe Adapted from the National Honey Board

What better way to honor autumn than by making butternut squash soup? But the endless variety of recipes had me befuddled about how to begin. Shall I add apples, savory veggies, or use just straight butternut? Do I add allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg, or not? How about cream or yogurt, yes or no? Then, since September is National Honey Month, a recipe from the very interesting bee book, “Letters from the Hive, an Intimate History of Bees, Honey, and Humankind,” caught my attention. After a bit of adaptation to reduce the fat and better quantify the ingredients, I had the perfect season-appropriate recipe. It’s both sweet and savory, with an earthy honey flavor.

Ladling Honey Butternut Soup from Pot
Smooth, Luscious Autumn Comfort
My husband isn’t crazy about smooth and creamy soups, and I’m afraid he’s out of luck on this one. Because of the various savories: onion, celery, garlic, ginger, carrots, leaving the soup chunky destroys the mystery of its unusual flavor. I didn’t puree it all the way, leaving small chunks of carrots intact. If you prefer chunky style, try pureeing just half of the soup. It’s most elegant to top it with an extra drizzle of honey and a dollop of yogurt, but garnishing with parsley or other green herb or dusting with nutmeg will also perk up the soup’s eye-appeal.

If you have a favorite butternut soup recipe, please let us know your basic ingredients in a comment below. Happy Autumn, Everyone!

Bowl of Ungarnished Soup
Simply Honey Butternut
Honey Butternut Soup
serves 6 - 8

1 onion ~8 oz.
 2 medium garlic cloves ~.1 oz.
1 thumb ginger root ~.1 oz.
3 carrots ~10 oz.
2 - 3 celery stalks, ~ 6 oz.
1 medium or 2 small butternut squash, ~3½  lb.
1 potato, ~ 10 oz.
3 tbsp. butter
6 cups chicken broth
½ cup honey
salt and pepper
honey, yogurt, parsley, and/or ground nutmeg, optional garnish

Chop onion. Mince garlic and ginger. Dice carrots and celery. Peel butternut squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Peel potato. Dice squash and potato.

In a deep, heavy soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté, stirring frequently, until golden and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrots and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 more minutes.

Stir in squash, potato, broth, and honey. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer till veggies are tender, about 30 – 40 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. (Puree just half if you prefer chunkier soup.) Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.

Drizzle each serving lightly with additional honey and add a dollop of yogurt. You can also dust lightly with ground nutmeg. Or garnish with parsley or another green herb.

Butternut and other Veggies in Soup Pot
Phase One: All Veggies
Veggies with Broth Added
Phase 2: Add Broth
Honey Poured into Soup Pot
Phase 3: Add Honey

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