Butternut Squash Soup

serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage (about 3 leaves)
2 to 2-1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1/8 cup sherry
4 cups chicken broth
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 ounces pancetta, chopped
1/3 cup cream
salt and pepper

Melt the butter and olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sage and saute one minute.  Add squash cubes and saute 5 minutes. Add the sherry, broth and cayenne pepper.  Cover and simmer on low for about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the pancetta in a little skillet until nicely crisped.  Drain on a paper towel.

Puree soup, either with an immersion blender right in the pot, or transfer to a food processor or blender. Return to pot and stir in cream.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls with pancetta on top.

The Italian Dish

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