Roasted Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup

After attending a very interesting talk at my boy's school last Saturday, I was so ready to share with you today what I have learned as I promised to blog about DML's series of parenting seminars, the first of which was about wellness and nutrition. Instead, I have to take a 180 degree turn and share this homey comfort soup since I am down with a terrible flu today (sniff, sniff...). That talk on how to raise happy kids will take a backseat for now as I can hardly think straight and just want to sleep off the rest of the day.

It was my first time to attempt at making this soup two months ago after pleasantly finding it in the produce section of SM Megamall Supermarket at P100/kilo (?). Honestly, I was intrigued as it was quite rare to find one in our local groceries. Though I didn't seem to get around posting this, until now.

Sick = Soup. Perfect time to share this wonderful, rich, and satisfying puree of oven-roasted butternut squash and carrots. Nothing beats a hot bowl of soup on our sick days! Excuse me for not being able to elaborate on this beautiful veggie -- my eyes are half closed as I type this. After browsing through several recipes for this soup, I have decided to do a two-way on my squash -- a soup and a simple sweet siding.

My boy and girl took turns drawing faces and figures on the squash which looked like their 'Mr.Potato Head' toy!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup (or side dish)

For the Puree:
2 medium-sized butternut squash (around 1.5 kilos), slice length wise and remove seeds
1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and cubed
2 cups water
1/2 chicken cube
olive oil
salt, pepper, nutmeg
All purpose cream or Whipped cream, chilled

For the Side dish toppings / flavor, choice of:
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar or cinnamon-sugar
Honey or Maple Syrup

Pre-heat the oven at 200'C / 400'F.
Season the surface of the butternut squash halves with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
On a non-stick baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil as well and arrange your squash face down.  Although some prefer to set their squash lying face-up, maybe to have a burnt surface. I think it will cook just same, whichever way you like.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the squash.
While baking, boil water in a small pot and place in the chicken cube and carrots until fork-tender. Set aside and wait for squash to be done.

After baking, remove from oven and turn the halves over.
For the soup - set aside 2 halves to be pureed
The other halves can be served as side dish, which you can keep for a day or two in the fridge if you wish.

Have a blender or hand-held mixer on stand-by to puree.

Prepare the toppings you like if you are serving this immediately after baking.

On the picture above, I just can't wait to try this for the first time so I have decided to try getting 1 half by putting butter in the hallowed pit, sprinkling cinnamon sugar on one side, and drizzle the top side with honey. Sweet, velvety, creamy, and rich.  The texture and sweetness can be compared to that of the orange variety sweet potato. It was quite filling and I only finished a third of it. Gotta save room for the soup you know. 

For the rest of the batch, making a squash risotto is highly recommended by most sites I've read. Sorry, I don't have a recipe for this. In any case, you can still puree them the next few days for another batch of hearty soup!

Scoop out the flesh from 2 halves of the roasted butternut squash and place in the blender with the boiled carrots, broth included.
Don't forget to lightly season with salt and pepper, and a dash of nutmeg.
If I had some sage, maybe I would have mixed in a few pieces for added flavor.
Puree/blend until smooth.

You may also use a hand-held immersion blender and mix it straight from the pot of boiled carrots.

Laddle in a soup bowl and add a dollop, or two, of chilled cream.  Serve immediately.
Best savored with warm bread or garlic bread sticks.

Personally, I prefer the creamy soup over the siding anytime. I finished mine while scrapping off the bowl with some warm pan de sal (bread of salt / soup buns).

Too bad I did not have this today, but the sinigang na baboy (tamarind-based soup with pork & vegetables) worked just fine to tame the flu over lunch! :-)

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