On Friday, we had a high somewhere around 40 degrees - and rain, rain, rain. I swear the clouds were touching the ground for most of the day.
Call me crazy, but I love this stuff. A day of dreariness and gray just lights me up sometimes. Maybe it's nostalgia for the two years I lived in Seattle. Or maybe I'm just lazy! But I love the feeling that there's nothing more for me to do than be inside, in blankets, with a pile of movies or books at my side. Or a baking project to futz with, or a pot of soup to be stirred.
What's even better - butternut squash and blue cheese pair like a match made in funky heaven. I always serve this soup with toasted baguette slices spread with a soft blue cheese. And any dish that serves as a reason to pull out the blue cheese is a winner to me.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary
2 lbs butternut squash
2 tbsp butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp dried rosemary (crush with mortar and pestle if you have one)
3-4 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
To roast the squash:
Preheat oven to 375. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Set the squash cut side down onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Bake for approx 45 minutes, until the squash is very soft when poked with a fork (the peel may start to blister). Remove from oven and let cool until you can scoop out the flesh. Set aside.
To make soup:
In a large pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh and dried rosemary, cook for a minute more. Add the butternut squash, stir to incorporate with the other ingredients; cook a minute or two. Add 3 cups of the chicken stock (reserve one cup) and salt and stir. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend the soup in small batches until it is very, very smooth; add additional chicken stock if needed. Be careful not to fill the blender more than 1/3 full when working with hot liquids. A trick I like - remove the plastic cap part of the blender lid, and cover the hole with a kitchen towel to relieve the pressure and let steam escape a bit when you turn the blender on.
Return the blended soup to a pot over low heat; stir in the cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed - you may want to add more rosemary or thyme.
To serve: Pair with a sliced baguette, lightly toasted, spread with blue cheese.