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Butternut Squash Soup with Hazelnut Cream

Butternut Squash Soup with Hazelnut Cream
Be sure to toast and skin the hazelnuts before adding them to the cream. Toasting brings out the rich flavor of the nuts and loosens the skins, which can taste bitter. Place the nuts in a dry fry pan over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan or stirring occasionally, until the nuts are fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Or spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 325°F oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes. While the nuts are still warm, wrap them in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. It's OK if a few bits of skin still cling to the nuts.

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock, warmed,
      plus more as needed
  • 1 jar (17 oz.) butternut squash puree
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream until steam starts to rise. Remove from the heat, add the hazelnuts and let cool. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the 2 cups stock and the squash puree and bring to a simmer, stirring, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring, for 12 to 15 minutes. Using a blender or stick blender, puree the soup, adding more stock if the soup is too thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Whisk the hazelnut cream until lightly foamy. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and top each serving with the hazelnut cream.
Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.