I made butter for the first time in ages yesterday, and as usual was inspired to make a soup using the leftover buttermilk. We had an acorn squash in the cupboard, screaming to be used as well as half a bag of chestnuts and some other good soup veggies on hand. We’re pretty obsessed with leeks lately, and no soup is complete without a leek, so that went in as well. What really made this soup special, though was a first step i often skip: roasting! I roasted the squash first, then boiled the rest of the ingredients. You could probably roast the turnips as well to get an even stronger roasty flavor.
* Buttermilk and Cultured Buttermilk are not the same thing, really – but you could use either in this soup with yummy results. Fresh buttermilk is light, not tangy, and apparently lactose free milk. Cultured Buttermilk has been fermented and is tangy and thicker.
Roasted Squash & Chestnut Soup
- 1 acorn squash (could use butternut, delicata, etc)
- 1/2 cup chestnuts, *shells and inner membrane removed
- 1 small/medium turnip, chopped
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 leek, cleaned well and chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon each: Cinnamon, ginger, cloves
- Pinch flour
- 1/2 – 1 cup stock
- 1/2 – 1 cup buttermilk
- Pat butter
* To remove the shells and inner papery stuff from the chestnuts, carve an x in the shell and pop in the microwave for about 30 seconds. The heat should open them up some and make that inner shell layer pop off. If you try to shell raw, the inner layer is too difficult to remove.
Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds: set aside if you wish to make roasted seeds later. Cut half longways and place cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for about 30 to 45 minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile, cut the onion and leeks and toss into a soup pot with a bit of butter, sauteing until soft. Add the flour and saute until butter and flour are combined, toss in the rest of the veggies and cover with water. Boil until the turnips are soft (20 or so minutes). Remove squash from the oven and scoop the flesh into the soup pot, being careful not to put in those hard string bits from near the skin. Add the splash of stock (enough to lube up the soup, but not so much that it because very thin) and blend with an immersion blender. Finish with the buttermilk and stir in well.
The chestnuts aren’t ‘key’ to making this soup work, but they do add a lovely flavor. Add them if you can get them, but don’t stress it if you can’t. Chestnuts grow locally here and are sold by a lovely group of high school students at the farmer’s market as a fundraiser.
Serve with a bit of grated cheese on top and a side salad for a wonderful late Autumn meal. We polished off the whole pot, it was so good. Though, i guess we usually polish off the whole pot. 😉
Is it “soup season” in your neck of the woods yet?