Butternut Squash Soup with Blue Cheese

sideways view of white bowl of orange butternut squash soup topped with blue cheese placed on a wooden board
Butternut Squash Soup with Blue Cheese

This classic fall favourite is comforting enough for homey Sunday lunches, but the blue cheese elevates it to a new level for an elegant dinner party starter. I've even served this soup during cocktail parties in sleek shot glasses or charming espresso cups for individual bites, and there's never any left over. 

Even if you're squeamish when it comes to blue cheese, muster up your bravery and give this a try. The blue cheese adds a complimentary, salty piquancy to the sweet butternut squash for a really interesting flavour note in the soup. It's not necessarily identifiable as blue cheese, per se, especially if you opt for a milder Gorgonzola or Danish Blue, as opposed to the harder hitting Stilton or Roquefort. 

But I suppose if the blue is a deal breaker, you could always try a goat's cheese for a reasonable facsimile of flavour. 

A dinner party time saver, this soup can be made in advance and kept for a few days in the fridge. You can reheat it on the stove, but if burners are at a premium, the slow cooker works just as well.

Makes: About 2 litres 

Chef level: easy

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, divided
  • S&P to taste
  • 2 litres (preferably no-salt) vegetable or chicken stock (plus more if needed)
  • 1 cup full fat milk  
  • Pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • Chives, diced
  • 200 g blue cheese, divided 

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 400.
  2. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, paprika, and salt and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet, well spread out to it browns nicely. 
  3. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until the edges are golden, shaking the sheets midway.
  4. While squash is roasting, place a large soup pot on medium heat and warm olive oil.
  5. Add the onion and sauté until soft, seasoning lightly with a bit of salt and pepper.
  6. Add in white wine. 
  7. Bundle the thyme in kitchen twine for easy removal, and drop in the pot. 
  8. Carefully add in roasted squash and vegetable stock, stirring to combine.
  9. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat, simmering for about 15 minutes.
  10. Remove the thyme stems.
  11. Crumble in 3/4 of the blue cheese, stirring to combine and allow to melt the hot soup, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  12. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup (alternatively add soup in batches to a blender to puree), until smooth and silky.*
  13. Pour in milk ad stir to combine. 
  14. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  15. To serve, ladle into bowls topping with remaining blue cheese cheese, chives and toasted pumpkin seeds.

*NOTE: Immersion blender: As the soup purees it can thickly bubble up so you may need to thin out a bit with more stock, or water. Regular blender: don't put the top on tightly, as the hot soup could blow the top off. Cover with a ktichen towel while blending.

Wine Pairing 

This soup is silky but rich, with both salty and sweet notes and a creamy texture. Look for a wine of similar weight and texture. A slightly off-dry style will really compliment the tangy edge of the soup, as well. 

Try: A Chenin blanc from the Loire, which classically has notes of quince, honey and apple blossom. 

 

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