Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons
Bon Appetit, December 1996
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
large onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
Three 14-1/2-oz. cans low-fat chicken broth
4 cups peeled butternut squash (1-inch pieces), about 1-1/2 lbs.
4 cups peeled acorn squash (1-inch pieces), about 1-1/2 lbs.
1-1/4 tsp minced fresh thyme
1-1/4 tsp minced fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
— Croutons —
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
24 (1/4-inch-thick) baguette bread slices
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 tsp minced fresh sage
For soup: Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)
For croutons: Preheat broiler. Butter one side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage, over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons, and serve.