As I mentioned in last week’s chili recipe post, Austin is finally somewhat feeling like FALL! I was in Seattle last week (more on that soon) and that put me in an especially autumnal mood. (Let’s just say I may have indulged in multiple seasonal flavored Starbucks beverages, I don’t want to talk about it.) Then I got back to Texas yesterday and the humidity was gone. Plus the temps are in the 60s in the mornings/evenings. Close enough to “real fall” as I need! Time to get crazy with the squash!
I’ve been making a list of all my favorite cold weather meals that I plan on busting out this season, and this roasted butternut squash chowder is a must. I originally posted it on Endless Simmer my first fall/winter in Austin, back in 2012. My roomie Dayna (no longer my roomie but forever my girl) and I were amazed at how fantastic it was, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to re-share this one.
I guarantee I will be whipping up this chowder before we’re halfway through October. And if you love butternut squash (or sage butter… mmm) as much as I do, you should do the same.
Roasted Butternut Squash Chowder with Sage Butter
From 300 Sensational Soups (a book with… you guessed it… 300 soup recipes, and most of them are indeed very sensational!)
Preheat oven to 400.
Get a rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper.
1 butternut squash (3 1/2 to 4 lbs / 1.75 to 2 kg), halved lengthwise and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
10 sage leaves, thinly sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) dice
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock (or a blend of the two)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch ground nutmeg
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half (10%) cream
1/2 cup whipping (35%) cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
12 whole sage leaves
Rub the cut side of one of the squash halves with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil and place cut side down on prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until a knife pierces easily into the thick part of the neck, about 40 minutes. Let cool on pan.
Meanwhile, peel and cut the remaining squash half into 1/2-inch (1 cm) dice; set aside.
In a large pot, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add sliced sage leaves and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add diced squash, potatoes, stock, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Scoop roasted squash from its shell, mash it and add it to the soup. Season with lemon juice, cayenne, nutmeg, and black pepper to taste. Stir in half-and-half cream and whipping cream; reheat over medium heat until steaming, stirring often. Taste and adjust seasoning with cayenne, nutmeg, salt and black pepper, if necessary.
In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat until sizzling. Add whole sage leaves and sauté until crispy and browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer sage to a plate lined with paper towels. Remove pan from heat.
Ladle chowder into heated bowls and top each with a drizzle of sage butter and 2 fried sage leaves.