This is a beautiful, delicious and perfect for that chilly day soup. I feel very fortunate to live in a city where year round farmers markets are a regular thing and fresh, locally grown and picked organic produce are abundant here in Washington. A few days ago, I couldn’t resist picking up a handsome looking butternut squash and right next to it was a mushroom stall full of Chanterelles. I’ve never cooked with them before but I do LOVE the taste of them! There’s only about 2-3 more weeks left of Chanterelle season and the next mushroom will replace this to have it’s glory fungus moment. So stock up on your chanterelles!
For this particular soup, the ingredients are very simple and so easy to make. I literally used whatever I had in my fridge and came up with this delicious pot of soup. If you have a good fundamental grasp on basic soup making, this will be a breeze for you.
(Please excuse the bad lighting / quality of the photos…I decided to make this soup at 11pm and felt too lazy to bust out my nice camera)
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 lb of chanterelle mushrooms
- 5-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 3 cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper
- pinch of cinnamon
- 3 cups of good low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup of water
- brown sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Quarter the butternut squash, scrape out the seeds, and on a pan, lightly drizzle with olive oil and salt. Optional: you can sprinkle the squash with brown sugar for sweetness. Roast for 50 minutes to an hour. Or until nicely browned and caramelized.
2. While that is roasting, rinse the chanterelles, and chop into small pieces. Set aside. Mince 3 cloves of garlic. In a hot pan, melt tablespoon of butter (add a bit of olive oil to pan so the butter doesn’t burn). Add minced garlic and let that brown for 30 seconds. Add chanterelles and sautee for a few minutes. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Add about 4 sprigs worth of thyme leaves – not the stems! (I just run my fingers against the opposite direction the leaves grow in and just scrape it off). Cook until chanterelles are soft and buttery! Set aside.
3. Take butternut squash out of oven and with a spoon, scrape all that yummy squash meat out. Add the scraped out squash into a stock pot or dutch oven pot. Add 3 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of water. (you can add more or less depending on the consistency of soup you want. Just start with less liquid and you can always add more stock if you want it to be more thin…). Once the stock comes to a boil. Use a hand held emulsifier/blender and blend away the stock and make sure you get all the squash parts until everything becomes nicely pureed.
4. Add the cooked garlic chanterelle mix into the pot. Add just a dash of cinnamon for a hint of flavor and add about 1 teaspoon of salt to the stock. You can add more salt if you want to taste. Add leaves from remaining 2 sprigs of thyme. Simmer all together for 5 minutes.
5. Serve in a nice deep bowl with a crusty loaf of baguette. These are the times I wish we lived in France…I can easily get a perfectly crusty loaf of baguette from the downstairs boulangerie (sigh…). I also drizzle a bit of olive oil into my soup for that bistro cafe effect!