Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Popcorn
- 6 pounds butternut squash, washed
- 6 ounces unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 3 Tablespoons molasses
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
- 1 knob fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- Zest from 1 orange
- Juice from 1 orange
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon garlic oil
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 to 4 cup water, depending on consistency
- 3 Tablespoons brown butter
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Place the squash on a flat surface and split them in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and arrange in a single layer on one or two baking sheets.
- In a small saucepan, melt 4 ounces of the butter completely over medium heat. Wait until it starts to turn a light brown color. Remove from heat and immediately distribute the butter into the cavities of the squash halves. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and Molasses as well.
- Season the insides with salt and pepper. Finish by covering with the ground (dry) ginger, fresh ginger, and the ground cloves. Fill the bottom of the tray(s) with the water (should be about 1 inch high) to create steam while the squash bakes in the oven. Cover the tray(s) with aluminum foil and seal the edges tightly.
- Place the tray(s) in the center of the oven and bake, undisturbed, for 2 hours. To check for doneness, pierce one of the halves with the tip of a small knife. The knife should slide in and out easily. If at all firm, bake the halves an additional 30-45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Carefully peel back the foil. Set aside to cool.
- Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh from the squash, taking care not to take any skin with it. The skin can give a bitter flavor; however, take care to retain all of the cooking liquid inside the squash. That will add a lot of flavor to the soup. Gather all of the squash in a large pot. Turn the heat on low. Add some of the orange zest, the orange juice, the Worcestershire Sauce and the garlic oil. Add the brown butter. Stir to blend. Taste for seasoning. If the squash lacks sweetness, add a little Molasses. If it lacks salt, add a little salt or Worcestershire Sauce.
- In a large pot, heat the skim milk, heavy cream, and two cups of the water. Season the liquid with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.
- Add the squash and stir to blend. Once the mixture has returned to a simmer, taste for seasoning.
- Place 4 cups of soup into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
- Select Variable 1.
- Turn machine on and slowly increase to Variable 10, then to High.
- Blend for 30 seconds or until smoothly puréed. Carefully transfer to pot or serving bowl. Repeat with remaining soup.
If the soup needs more flavor, add salt, extra orange zest or pepper, as needed. If the soup is too thick, add the additional cup of water and blend. Serve the soup family style or ladle the soup into individual bowls with popcorn on the side.