Roasted Butternut Squash Soup from Frankies Spuntino
I bought The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual in December and have been reading chapters here and there ever since. Laid-back, but straight-forward, it's fun and full of stories about the two guys from Brooklyn behind some of my favorite restaurants. Only this weekend did I realize it looks more like a bible than a cookbook. Based on the title, I'm sure this was intentional, and after making my first recipe, I'll be referring to it regularly.
I've been looking for a really good butternut squash soup for a while. Thanks to the Franks, I've finally found one and it's easier than ever. Others I've tried call for coconut milk or chicken stock and all sorts of other ingredients. With sweet potato, white pepper, Chinese five-spice powder and water, their recipe reminded me that with cooking, and most things actually, more is less.
I had an enormous butternut squash that took longer to roast than I expected, so I made a big salad to hold me over. By the time it was tender enough to blend, I was starving. I snapped a picture of the squash and sweet potatoes when they came out of the oven, but never got around to documenting the final product. Pureed soup isn't the most photogenic anyway, but looks aside, it was silky smooth and one of the best I've made. The recipe calls for a teaspoon of honey, but it was sweet enough on its own that I barely needed any. I loved it as a light dinner with a piece of buttered spelt toast. It was comforting with a little kick. Healthy, too, which made me appreciate it even more when I came down with a cold the next day.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
From The Frankies Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual
Serves 4 to 6
1 butternut squash (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), halved and seeded
1/2 sweet potato
A couple splashes of olive oil
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, or more to taste
1 cup water
1 teaspoon honey, or more to taste
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat the squash and sweet potato with a light slick of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Arrange the squash cut side up on a baking sheet, stick the half potato on there with it, and roast for 1 hour, or until both are very tender. Let cool slightly.
3. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin and combine in a blender. Add a large pinch of salt, the pepper, the five-spice powder, water, and honey and blend until smooth. Taste and add more honey if you want it sweeter or a tiny pinch more of five-spice powder to round out the flavor.
4. Pour the soup into a pot and reheat, then ladle into bowls, nice and hot.