Gingered Butternut Squash Soup with Balsamic Drizzle
New Media Publishing / Photography: Flat Art Studios.com / Stylist: Abigail Donnelly
Provided by: Kemp Minifie
This cream-free soup is as smooth as silk but not at all filling, making it the ideal first course for a big holiday meal. If you want to make the soup completely dairy-free, substitute oil for the butter. The ginger adds a lovely warming heat, while the balsamic drizzle adds a welcome touch of acidity.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste, divided
- 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (1inch; about 6 cups total)
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat and stir in onion, carrot, celery, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt, then cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.
- Add squash, water, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and simmer, covered, until squash is very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in brown sugar.
- While soup is simmering, boil balsamic vinegar in a small heavy saucepan until it is reduced to 1/3 cup and thickened to the consistency of a syrup.
- Puree soup in a blender in small batches (use caution when pureeing hot mixtures) until very smooth and transfer to a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Season with salt and pepper and thin soup, if desired, with additional water (it should pour easily into a bowl). Reheat if necessary.
- Ladle soup into bowls and drizzle each with about a teaspoon of the balsamic syrup.
- Make ahead: Soup can be made 3 days ahead and kept chilled, covered. Reheat over medium low heat, thinning soup if necessary.
- Balsamic syrup can be made 3 days ahead. Reheat to warm and thin with a little water if necessary.