19 October 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Chowder with Parmesan Crisps

butternut squash chowder with Parmesan toasts on a plate
Roasted Butternut Squash Chowder with Parmesan Crisps
Usually when I think of chowder the first thing that pops into my mind is Clam Chowder. But this vegetarian version with a plethora of vegetables is both chunky and creamy. Roasted butternut squash, leeks, carrots, parsnip and potatoes all work together to make this soul-satisfying soup that is perfect for these in-between days as we move into fall.



The days are shorter, the nights cooler, there is a nip in the air and the trees are showing their first signs of burnished gold. Although barbecue weather is still here my mind has already flipped over to comfort food, crackling fires and cozy blankets. When sick, or tired, or far from home, everyone seems to yearn for the gastronomic equivalent of a warm sweater, a kiss on the forehead, or a favourite blanket. Comfort foods nourish the soul as well as our bodies and tend to be familiar foods that remind us of simpler times or of a contented childhood. Just like the pending season your senses can be awakened with anything from a comforting caramelized squash soup like this to a large bowl of tantalizing macaroni and cheese. It is not uncommon for my home to be filled with warm, fragrant and earthy aromas of a slow cooked roast or bubbling crock pot. But soup was the order of the day.

With starting a new year long contract this past week I could really use some comfort food to warm my heart and keep me on a path to rejuvenation. It seems that each of the recipes I have been cooking this week require wine as a key ingredient. A little wine for the cook does a body good too...wink...wink.


**Roasted Butternut Squash Chowder**
  • One 1 1/2-pound butternut squash
  •  3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  •  1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  •  2 leeks, white parts only, coarsely diced (1 1/2 cups)
  •  1 Spanish onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  •  4 celery ribs, finely diced
  •  2 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  •  1 parsnip, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  •  6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth
  •  1/2 cup dry white wine
  •  1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  •  1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  •  Parmesan Croutons, for serving (recipe below)
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut the stem off the squash and carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Rub the cut sides of the squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set the squash on a baking sheet, cut sides up, season generously with salt and pepper and cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Roast the squash for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let the squash cool to room temperature. Scoop out the flesh and coarsely chop it.

2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy casserole, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over moderate heat. When the butter begins to brown, add the leeks and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic in the last minute of sauteing. Add the potatoes, celery, carrots, parsnips, chicken stock, wine and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover partially and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Transfer one third of the soup to a blender and add chopped butternut squash and puree until smooth. Stir the puree into the soup and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve with the Parmesan Croutons.

**Parmesan Croutons**
  • Sixteen 1/2-inch-slices of baguette
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Brush the baguette slices on both sides with the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the slices are golden brown and crisp. Serve with soup.
 
You may recall that I did say that this week here at More Than Burnt Toast it would be Event Week. It just means that I have happily participated in several events around the blogosphere. This time around I am participating in my favourite vegetarian event No Croutons Required from my good friends Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes who blogs from Scotland and Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen from Ontario, Canada.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

35 comments:

  1. It's cold, rainy and windy and this soup would help along the day. Time to go buy some squash.

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  2. That looks sooo good.

    I've never heard "chowder" and "squash" used in the same recipe title.

    What makes something a chowder rather than a soup, anyway.

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  3. Wonderful soup...the color is so perfect..Thanks for the recipe

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  4. Really love this idea of making a chowder with the butternut squash; creative served with your Parmesan Crisps.
    Rita

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  5. I don't knwo officially Dan but any choweder I have had is thick and creamy, soup is generally thinner. Probably a little creative license taken with the name.

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  6. Scrumptious, warming and comforting! A great fallchowder.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. like sinking into a hot bath.... ahhhhhhhhhh yummy!

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  8. Perfect chilly and rainy day here in Rhode Island, and this soup would be perfect. I always think of chowder as a soup with chunks of whatever (fish, vegetables, chicken, etc.) in it. Love the parmesan crisps, too.

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  9. This looks delicious. It's really turned cold in England this week and this looks like a perfect winter warmer!

    I like to make parmesan crisps without bread too - just grate parmesan onto a lined baking tray (about a handful per crisp) and pop in the oven for a few minutes, until the cheese melts and bubbles. When it cools, it solidifies. Totally delicious.

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  10. What I like is your parmesan crisps!! what a good addition to boost the soup!

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  11. what nice look this Vall I would like to eat right now! gloria

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  12. It's cold and rainy today and I'd love to have a bowl of this right now!

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  13. It's cold and rainy here today and this beautiful soup would be the perfect way to warm up! I love its velvety texture and all the veggies in there are wonderful!

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  14. It's a nasty chilly day here and this would be a great chowder for it. It sounds and looks delicious!

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  15. Yes, it's definitely that soup time of year. I've had it twice this week. I love butternut squash and this recipe has many layers of flavor. Yum!

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  16. We've just got back from a very cold, wet and windy Istanbul and this hearty soup would have been just the tonic we needed! Can't wait to try this when the weather gets colder here in Fethiye.

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  17. Your soup looks so nice and hearty. I like the combination of all the vegetables in this. Thank you for sharing

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  18. I only recently started using squash in more ways. It's really as versatile as a potato, isn't it? But an oh-so-nice change . . . and just in time for this change in weather. Soup/chowder, the only comforting thing as winter approaches.

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  19. Visiting Florida at moment and the weather is so gloomy and rainy a bowl of this delish soup would warm me up.

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  20. I love the different textures in this soup! And, it's finally cooled off enough here for soup.

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  21. LOL on the wine comment. Uncork that bottle and salute!

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  22. What a warming and comfortable soup for a damp and chilly evening. Even the color warms. I know it is delicious because it comes from you. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  23. I haven't been able to find butternut squash here in Mexico, but I think I can use regular pumpkin for this chowder. It looks delicious!

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  24. Wine for the pot, wine for the cook. It's called sharing! Great soup with lots of creamy, chunky bite.

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  25. I made a butternut squash soup for lunch today too - with sage and a little chilli. I love the idea of a chowder too though and couldn't agree more about a little wine being good for the cook!

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  26. It's cold and rainy here too Val. I could use a bowl of your soup right now to warm me up.
    Sam

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  27. Loving the idea of caramelized squash.

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  28. Chowder always reminds me of delicious chowders on the East Coast. Nice to see squashes for a change in this recipe.

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  29. Love butternut squash, particularly in soups: your chowder looks great. I have seen this squash in Italy as well the past couple of times I visited, so I guess its fame is spreading overseas.

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  30. Beautiful recipe, perfect for this weather we have now in UK. I would love to feature it as Article of The Week on my blog next Friday, if you don't mind (just a link and a thumb):
    http://www.coffeeandvanilla.com/?page_id=12184

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  31. You built this soup with a lot of flavors. Wonderful.

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  32. congrats on the new contract. those new ventures always require lot of comfort--in the way of food, shoes, sleep, doting, etc... :) Lovely soup, Val! Happy fall.

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  33. This looks absolutely delicious Val! We have tons of winter squash stored from our CSA this year! I am so making this!

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  34. Butternut squash make the best soup! This looks so delicious - especially with the parmesan croutons. Perfect cold weather food.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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