Butternut Squash Soup/Bisque
- FITZHAMMER Nov 14, 2005 08:41 AM
I am making butternut squash soup for a fundraising event for 80 people. I would love some advice for dealing with the squash. Should I roast it first and then cook it and puree it or peel it and cut it into cubes and simmer it? Thanks!!
I recently made a butternut squash soup from Cook's Illustrated that used steamed squash. It was very good, with a lot of depth of flavor. First you cook the stringy insides and seeds with some shallots in butter, then add some water to that and stem chunks of the unpeeled squash until tender. Scoop out squash flesh, strain liquid, whiz in the blender and add a splash of cream.
that's a lot of soup. i would cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, brush on a little oil and salt and pepper and roast for about an hour. once cool, peel off skin. that'll be a lot easier than peeling and chopping before cooking. roasting the squash will bring out more of its flavor as well.
Just yesterday I made a delicious Moosewood recipe for Italian bean and squash soup that told me to peel and dice the squash, then cook. Though my results were great, the process was very difficult. I would recommend against the peel and dice method, if at all possible.
That said - is there any good way to peel a butternut squash? Was I just doing it wrong, and that is why it was so difficult?
I just made five gallons of roasted garlic squash bisque for a wedding reception. Do not put yourself throught he labor of peeling and cubing. Those bad boys are HARD. Just split them in half, scoop out seeds, rub with olive oil and roast until soft. The flesh will scoop away from the peels easily and the roasting concentrates flavor and carmelizes some of the suger.
If I were cooking for that many people, I'd roast halves then spoon out the puree.
For smaller portions use a good vegetable peeler and bake 1" pieces. This allows more caramelization.
When roasting smaller squashes, I start by cooking the whole squash in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes. (Microwave 1 squash at a time.) It shortens the roasting time.
I really like carnival squash. It's pale yellow with dark green or orange stripes and spots, shaped like an acorn squash. Very flavorful and sweet, but the texture is thick and dry, almost fudge-like. I like to mix carnival and butternut, for intense flavor and smooth texture.