Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

I admit to having somewhat of an obsessive personality.  I'm not sure if I'm more obsessive than the next person, but I do know that when I get something in my head - be it a television show, a food, a puppy, or a band - it's my main focus.  I will watch every episode I can find of a new show I love; I'll listen to a new band's album day in and day out; I'll read everything I can get my hands on about raising a puppy; and I'll eat a food until I can't stand to taste it ever again.  Nowadays I'm obsessed with two ingredients: butternut squash and chipotles.  It's only natural that I would find a recipe that combines the two in an irresistible soup.

This soup is even spicier than the curry squash soup I made previously, which means I like it even more.  A little drizzle of sour cream (whisked with a splash of water) helps to cool the burn.  If you have some toasted seeds to throw on top, all the better.

It's a testament to this soup that I even made it on a 70 degree day.  I know bringing up 70 degree California weather isn't the nicest thing to do when the rest of the country is dealing with the usual below-freezing February temperatures, but we all have our faults.  

This girl, of course, has no faults.  Other than the nipping, and the chewing, and the occasional whining, of course.  She is a puppy after all.

Did you know if you want your puppy or dog to give you that quizzical head tilt that will melt your heart all you have to do is pant at them like you're a dog?  Works like a charm.  She gives you a look like "Chipotles again, Mom??"

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Simply Recipes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
1-2 chipotles canned in adobe, chopped (use two if you want it to be spicy)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 large butternut squash, roasted (about 5 cups butternut squash)
4 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup cream
Sour cream thinned with water, for drizzling

Split a butternut squash in half from root to tip and scoop out the seeds.  Place in a large roasting pan cut-side down with 1/4 inch of water.  In a 400 degree oven, roast your butternut squash for 50 minutes, until the flesh is very soft.  Scoop out with a large spoon.  Either use it immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

In a large dutch oven or pot heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.  Add chopped onion and cook until softened.  Add garlic, cumin, and chipotle and cook for an additional minute.  

Add chicken stock, butternut squash, oregano, and salt to the pot.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat so that the soup simmers for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.  (Alternatively, work in batches to puree the soup in a blender making sure to vent the soup to avoid an explosion.)  

Add the lime juice and cream and heat for another couple of minutes.  Serve with a drizzle of thinned sour cream.

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