- 4 medium butternut squash (about 2-1/4 pounds each)
- 4 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup butter, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups chopped onions
- 1 medium leek (white portion only), chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup maple syrup
- Additional maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pierce neck end of squash in several places with a sharp knife. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4-5 minutes. Cut squash between neck and bulb. Peel neck and cut into cubes; set aside.
- Remove and discard seeds and membrane from bulb, leaving about a 1/2-in. shell; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a foil-lined 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan; top with 4 teaspoons butter. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until butter is melted and squash is heated through.
- In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, saute the onions, leek and celery in remaining butter until tender. Add squash cubes, broth and syrup; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
- In a blender, puree soup in small batches until smooth. Return to the pan. Drizzle additional syrup into squash bowls. Fill with soup; drizzle with additional syrup if desired. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Freeze remaining soup. Yield: 3 quarts (4 soup bowls).
Originally published as Maple Squash Soup in Country Woman September/October 2000, p24
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