I went back and forth about whether to share this next soup with you guys. I served it with the Buttermilk Cornmeal Bread with Chiles and Cheddar, and that right there was probably half the problem—the bread just blew everything else at the meal out of the water. However the second problem was that same old problem I have with soups rearing its ugly head—it tasted watery to me, too much like stock and not deep enough.
However, after fiddling with it, I have got it to a point that while not quite as healthy, is pretty darn yummy. So I am going to give you the recipe as I ended up making it. The soup is Squash and Tomatillo Soup from Moosewood Restaurant’s New Classics. I try to pick up Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks used whenever I can. They just aren’t “me” enough for me to want to spend full price on them (no pictures, paperback, etc) but I do get some good ideas from them. I was attracted to this recipe because while I ADORE butternut squash soups and have made endless variations on them, I had not tried one with tomatillos. I do wonder if some of my issues with the soup were caused by needing to use canned tomatillos instead of freshly roasted ones (no fresh tomatillos on my side of town!). To compensate I did use fire roasted canned tomatoes, but who knows if that was enough. If you try it with freshly roasted tomatillos, please let me know how it comes out!
Squash and Tomatillo Soup
Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant’s New Classics
1 26 oz can tomatillos, drained and rinsed (or 18 fresh tomatillos, peeled, cleaned, cut in half and roasted at 450 F for 30-35 minutes)
2 large onions, chopped
1 head of garlic, chopped
1 T olive oil
2 ½ lbs butternut squash, peeled and chopped (about 6 cups) (can sub any winter squash)
6 cups veggie stock (I used chicken)
1 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes (if using freshly roasted tomatillos, use 3 cups undrained chopped plum tomatoes—one 28 oz can)
½ t ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
Cream and sour cream to taste (this is my addition—I felt the entire soup needed about 1/3 cup cream and 3/4 cup light sour cream) (The picture to the right is a different color because that was how the soup looked AFTER I added the cream and sour cream. The pictures above–the nicer ones of course, were from serving the soup without any dairy.)
Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, for garnish (something I added to leftovers and thought was quite nice)
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Moosewood also suggests avocado cubes or corn
Cook the onions in a soup pot in the olive oil on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until softened and browning a little. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, until fragrant. Stir in the squash, stock, tomatoes with juice and tomatillos if using canned. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 to 25 minutes, until the squash is quite tender.
When the squash is tender, add the chipotles and the freshly roasted tomatillos if using them. Using an immersion blender (or removing to a stand blender), puree the soup until smooth.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cream and sour cream—if you are not sure how much you want, start out with a smaller amount and taste as you go. Anyway, add several tablespoons of the soup to the sour cream mixture and whisk it in to temper the sour cream mixture. Then add the now warm sour cream mixture to the soup and whisk into the soup. Serve garnished with sour cream and cilantro.