A seasonal soup worth savoring
Roasted Summer Squash and Garlic Soup
ROASTED SUMMER SQUASH AND GARLIC SOUP
2 pounds of your favorite sweet summer squashes; try sunburst, golden Italian, white, yellow or butternut
1 whole head of garlic
1/2 cup finely sliced brown onion
1/4 stick butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
Wash the squash and pat dry. Depending on the squash you chose, either leave skin on or peel a squash like butternut with a tougher skin. Loosely wrap in aluminum foil, and place on a baking tray. Without peeling the garlic cloves, wrap the whole head in foil and place on the tray with the squash, and roast in a medium oven, about 350 degrees, for about three hours. Remove from oven and cool. Chop the squash coarsely, and remove seeds if using a squash with inedible seeds, such as pumpkin. Squeeze the dark, caramel-like garlic paste out from its skin and reserve. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add olive oil and sliced onions and, when golden but not brown, add the garlic and squash. Stir briskly until all the ingredients are well coated in the butter mixture.
Pour in the water and the milk, and bring to a boil. When boiling, immediately turn the heat down for the soup to simmer gently. Add the bay leaf, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Remove the bay leaf, and pour the mixture into a blender and process until smooth. Return to the pot, bring to a gentle simmer again. Right before serving, add the sherry, stir and check the seasoning. Serve warm, with crusty bread.
You could cook this soup in a more straightforward way, just chopping the raw vegetables and throwing them straight into the onion/butter mixture. By roasting the garlic and squash first, your soup goes from good to sublime, acquiring a nutty, smoky flavor.
—Serves four to six people
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