This soup is simple and delicious with clean, bright flavors. Some recipes call for curry or apple added in, but I like this version. If the soup ends up a little thick, add more stock to get a creamy consistency that’s soup like and not a puree. As you can see in the photo, my soup ended up a little thicker than the creme fraiche and my tasters had a mixed reaction to that. One thought it should be thinner and another thought it was just fine. I wanted it a little thinner myself as I want it to be soup, not baby food, so be prepared to add more stock to get the final product the way you prefer it.
About 40 minutes
(10-15 minutes active, 25-30 cooking time)
Special equipment-immersion blender or food processor for pureeing finished soup
6 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (about 1 3-4 lb squash)
2 tbslp butter or olive oil
1/4 cup diced shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed to thin soup after cooking
sea salt and pepper
1/2 cup pecans
2 tblsp brown sugar
1 tbslp butter
1 tsp Spanish paprika, hot
4 tbslp creme fraiche
Heat large soup pot over medium heat. Add butter or olive oil and when hot, add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring, until translucent. Add 1-2 tsp sea salt, freshly group pepper, butternut squash and stock to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook 20-25 minutes until squash begins to fall apart.
While squash is cooking, melt 1 tblsp butter in a small pan and when it foams add the paprika, sugar and pecans. Cook, stirring frequently until the pecans are slightly browned and smell toasty. (I’m still working on getting enough of the paprika flavor into the pecans, so you may need to add more paprika to get it to work. I only used a few shakes when I made this and it wasn’t enough, so next time I’m going to add more and see if that gets a bigger flavor. Anyone out there with ideas on how to better infuse the pecans with some hot paprika??)
When soup is done, use immersion blender to puree and add more stock as needed to get the right consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve soup with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of pecans on top of each serving.