Though the Virginia weather refuses to cooperate, we are in the glorious depths of fall and I am ready for every meal to come in a bowl.
Whether it is over-filled bowls of pasta or deep dishes of soup, cozy food is my favorite food and this little butternut number is no exception.
Butternut squash soup is something I also approach with trepidation and never order in a restaurant. I’ve had watery renditions, overly sweet recipes, and versions heavily laced with spices. In short, I have met with enough bad butternut soup to turn me away once and for all, but this…this particular recipe, is something special.
The “secret” lies in its simplicity…and its caramelized onions - the foundation of all that is savory and wonderful this time of the year.
It comes together quickly and is perfect for a weeknight.
Now, this is the sort of “thin” soup that needs a carb-y best friend close at hand. You could reach for grilled cheese or crunchy croutons, but my preference is a cross between the two.
I whipped up a quick maple butter that compliments the subtle sweetness of the soup and topped it with several slices of my favorite triple cream brie. Because brie makes its way into my life whenever possible.
The combination is stellar!
The crostini can be served alongside the soup or floated on top much like French onion soup.
This is the perfect way to enjoy autumn in a bowl.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP with MAPLE BUTTER BRIE CROSTINI
FOR THE SOUP
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 tablespoon amber grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
Add butter to a 4-quart saucepan and place over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted, add in the onions.
Sprinkle the onions with salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions have caramelized. This should take 8-10 minutes. If the onions appear to be browning too quickly, reduce heat to medium.
After the onions have caramelized, stir in maple syrup and fresh thyme. Toss in butternut squash and cover with chicken broth.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the soup for 15 minutes; until the squash is fork tender. While the soup simmers, prepare the crostini.
Remove the pan from the heat and use a blender or immersion blender stick to puree the soup until it is smooth and velvety.
Stir in heavy cream.
FOR THE CROSTINI
4 slices your favorite whole wheat bread
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons amber grade B maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces triple cream brie, sliced
In a small bowl, vigorously whip butter, maple syrup, and sea salt using a small spatula. Once the mixture is well-combined, spread a generous layer of butter over each slice of bread. Layer each slice with several pieces of brie.
Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and set under your oven’s broiler setting for 3-4 minutes; until the brie is bubbling and the edges of the toast are deep brown.
Serve the toasts atop the hot soup.