I love fall soups. Warm, rich and inviting, a comforting mug of cauliflower or squash soup is just the thing to take the edge off the Atlanta’s cool weather chill. Fall soups are easy to make, reheat well, healthy, and a fantastic replacement to the same old vegetable side dish. With comfort food in mind, I thought I’d share two delicious fall soup recipes that are worth a try – Cauliflower Soup and Butternut Squash Soup.
I made this recipe for my family a few weeks back. It was easy enough to prepare after work and everybody loved it, which is unusual in my house. Just because I’m a chef doesn’t mean my family is any less picky than yours! The recipe included Parmesan crusts which were wonderful, but next time I’ll probably skip ‘em and serve the soup with grilled or toasted cheese sandwiches.
1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop, and reserve. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a blender* and return it to the pot. Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, make the Parmesan crisps:
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the shredded cheese over the foil in 1 even thin layer. Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown and crisps. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Break sheet of crisp cheese into large pieces and garnish each soup bowl with a couple shards and a pinch of fresh chives.
Butternut Squash Soup
This recipe is my absolute favorite. I’m not a fan of scooping hot butternut squash out of its skin and I’m too impatient to wait for it to cool, so next time I’m either going to peel and chop my squash before roasting or hit Whole Foods in Johns Creek for squash that’s already been prepped. With pre-peeled squash, just bake it as the recipe calls for, checking after 20 minutes or so to see if it’s soft or boil it in the broth as you would with mashed potatoes. This recipe calls for heavy cream, but if you’re not a fan just leave it out and use a little extra chicken/veggie broth if the soup is too thick.
3 to 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, approximately 2, seeded and quartered
Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the quartered squash onto a half sheet pan, brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the white pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender.
Scoop the flesh from the skin into a 6-quart pot. Add the broth, honey and ginger. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture until smooth*. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with the remaining salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
If you’ve got favorite fall soup recipes send it my way. I just might post it!