GUEST POST SUNDAY
Meet my friend Rebekah
Rebekah is a beautiful mother to adorable twin sons, Quint & Griffin. A Stella & Dot stylist (you may remember her from our recent giveaway)! She's sharing her favorite butternut squash soup recipe with us today! You can find more of her super scrumptious recipes on her blog, which you can see HERE!
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Travel, for me, is really just an excuse to eat. Whenever we’re headed to a new locale, my husband spends a lot of time researching where the best places are—not necessarily the most popular, but instead the most interesting spots with great cocktails and unusual, local ingredients on the menu. His finds never disappoint me except insofar that he often finds a restaurant so incredible that my heart actually hurts as each bite makes me painfully aware that I won’t be able to eat (insert amazing dish here) at home.
In the fall of 2007 we went to New Orleans for the first time. If you’ve been to NOLA, then you know you can’t throw a stone without hitting an incredible eatery (or a Big Ass Beer stand!). One of the first nights we were there, we headed to Café Adelaide in the Loew’s Hotel for drinks and ended up staying for dinner. We were lured in by the butternut squash soup we saw delivered to a neighboring table. It looked so velvety, so golden, that we couldn’t leave without trying it…and once we did, we literally wanted to lick our bowls clean. Instead of the cloyingly sweet, dessertish flavor I’d come to associate with squash soups, this one was light and savory with just a touch of indescribable sweetness (we ended up grilling our waitress until she revealed the chef used honeycomb to sweeten it!). The soup was so amazing, we actually ended up going to Café Adelaide a second night, and the memory of it stayed with us for months afterwards. All one of us needed to say was, “Uhhhhhh…butternut soup…,” and we’d both stare off into space, drool making a path down our chins.
Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I took to the kitchen in an attempt to recreate THE SOUP. I tracked down some honeycomb from a local Amish stand. I picked the loveliest butternut out of the bunch we’d gotten from our farm share and lovingly roasted it. I carefully caramelized onions, added stock, seasoned, tasted, then seasoned again. My first attempt was close, but not quite right. But I persevered and now, four years later, I think I’ve finally gotten it right (or pretty darn close, anyway). Each time I make this luxurious (but surprisingly quick and easy) soup, we’re transported back to New Orleans, to walks down cobblestone streets, Zydeco echoing in the background. And aren’t the memories what travel is all about?
Café Adelaide’s Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash, roasted and removed from skin
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup vegetable stock
3 cups water
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2” piece of raw honeycomb
1 tablespoon raw honey (2 tablespoons if you are unable to find honeycomb)
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup organic half-and-half
- Cut a large butternut squash in half, place it in a 9x13” baking dish, drizzle with sunflower oil (or pumpkin seed oil if you can find it), sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover with foil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until squash is very fork tender. (Note: you could also use frozen squash puree if you want to skip this step. I just like the richness this roasted squash adds to the soup.) Let the squash cool, then place the removed flesh in a bowl and mash it with a potato masher.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion, a dash of salt and pepper, and cover the pot for approximately 5 minutes. Once the onions are translucent, uncover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until lightly caramelized.
- Add the water, stock, squash, herbs and spices, honeycomb, and honey. Stir to combine, then cover and bring the soup to a slow simmer for 45 minutes.
- Let the soup cool for approximately 10 minutes, then blend with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
- Add the soup back to the pot, and place it over low heat. Stir in the ½ cup of half-and-half and the second tablespoon of butter. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper as needed.