In 1997, Sunset Magazine ran an article on winter squash complete with a few recipes. I followed the recipe to the letter because of its unusual process. It was wonderfully easy and fun! The onion and garlic gets roasted in their skins, then peeled. No tears.
The Sunset article makes the point of the probable origin of winter squash being Mexico. Archeologists have evidence indicating squash was in cultivation there 7000 years ago or longer. The seeds were saved and traded through North, Central and South America. Seeds were passed down from one family generation to another.
It was with a feeling of nostalgia and sense of participating in history that we enjoyed this soup. However, you do not have to be a history buff to enjoy a bowl of this goodness. It stands on its own, creamy and earthy, herbal and cheesy.
Winter Squash Sage Soup Ingredients
2 tablespoon olive oil
18 fresh sage leaves
2 medium-sized butternut squash or the equivalent in another variety of winter squash
2 unpeeled onions
7 unpeeled garlic cloves
4 cups bone broth or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
6 ounces fontina cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Winter Squash Sage Soup Steps
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and dry the squash. Cut it in half longways and scoop out the seeds and membrane.
Cut the onions in half, leaving on the peel.
In a small skillet heat the oil to shimmering and then fry the sage leaves until they turn dark. About 45 seconds will do the trick.
Pull the skillet from the fire and scoop out the sage. Place it on a paper towel to drain.
Rub the cut sides of the squash and onion with oil from the skillet and place cut side down on a baking dish or cookie sheet with sides. Use a pan with plenty of room for your vegetables. It is best if they are not touching.
Tuck the garlic cloves under one of the squash in the hollowed-out area.
Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes. At about 40 minutes start testing for doneness. You want the vegetables very soft but not burned. Some of the squash edges will begin to caramelize. This is not the same as burning. It’s a good thing.
Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes for easier handling.
Peel the onion and chop it a bit. Peel the garlic. Scoop the squash pulp from the peel.
Run these three ingredients through a food processor until they are smooth and creamy and then pour them into a soup pot.
Slowly add hot broth until the soup is the consistency you like. If you get it too thin, which happens, thicken the soup with a bit of flour mixed into broth or water. Mix it well and slowly add to the soup, stirring continually.
Add the minced herbs and blend well.
Simmer over a low flame for about 20 minutes for the flavors to blend.
Check for salt and pepper. Adjust as needed.
Place the cheese cubes in the serving bowls. Ladle on the soup and garnish with the fried sage leaves.