I was tempted to call this Winter Squash Soup ‘Pottimaron squash and Gruyère soup’ but thought that, like me, you may never have heard of that squash variety. And it isn’t crucial anyway; you can use any winter squash that you like or have on hand. But if you happen upon a Pottimaron, snatch it up because it’s perfect for this.
That’s one of the things I love about having a CSA share. I’m introduced to new-to-me fruits and vegetables and get to learn what to do with them. I also appreciate the weekly farm newsletter we get, with a list of what our share will include and a recipe or two. This winter squash soup is a loosely adapted from one of them.
How to Make Winter Squash Soup:
It’s a three step process, all of them simple: first you’ll make the stock from what you scrape from the squash and several aromatics; next you’ll roast the squash while the stock simmers; then to finish, you’ll combine everything together (plus some cream and cheese).
The method for making the vegetable stock was new to me, but I love it. The seeds and strings infuse a subtle, nutty flavor. That coupled with the rich, buttery flavor of Gruyère and cream make for a spectacular soup.
On occasion, I’ll puree a soup, but generally I like it to have some texture. Once the Potimarron squash was roasted, the flesh fell apart easily so I didn’t blend this soup at all. If you use a firmer squash, like a butternut, you may want to puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches with a standard blender (as with this Tomato Bisque). Remember, with a standard blender, not to put the lid over hot liquids and try to blend. The hot liquid will explode out (experience speaking). Instead, cover the top with a towel.
Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère
For the Stock:
- seeds and membrane from the winter squash
- 2 carrots diced
- 3 celery ribs diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 leaves fresh sage
- handful fresh parsley
- 3 fresh thyme branches
- 8 cups water
For the Soup
- 1 pumpkin or winter squash weighing 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 6 to 7 cups stock (recipe above)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces Gruyère shredded
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the stock, cut winter squash in half. Scrape seeds, and membrane out with a large metal spoon. Place what you've scraped out in a large soup pot. Add remaining stock ingredients (carrots through water) and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees °F.
Line a large baking dish with parchment paper. Place the squash halves, cut side down, in baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until skin is blistered and flesh is soft. When cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin.
Melt butter in soup pot. Add onion; cook and stir over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cooked squash and stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. If desired, puree some of all of the soup with a standard or immersion blender. Remove from heat and stir in heavy cream and cheese.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve.