Alexandra Guarnaschelli, host of Food Network’s “Alex’s Day Off,” came up with this kid-friendly soup that is topped with popcorn. The 5-year-old taste tester who generally avoids squash loved it.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH POPCORN
Start to finish: 2 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)
Servings: 4 to 5
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3 pounds butternut squash, washed
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground white pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tablespoon garlic oil
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 cups water, depending on consistency
2 cups popped popcorn
Heat the oven to 375 F.
Trim the ends of the squash, then halve them lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and arrange the halves in a single layer, cut sides up, in a large roasting pan. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter.
When the butter turns light brown, remove it from the heat and immediately divide the butter between the cavities of the squash halves.
Drizzle the cut sides of the squash with the molasses.
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper, the ground ginger, fresh ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Sprinkle the cut sides of the squash with the seasoning mixture.
Add enough water to the roasting pan to come about 1 inch up the sides of the squash.
Cover the pan with foil and seal the edges tightly. Bake 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.
Uncover and set aside to cool.
Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh (and any liquid in the cavities) from the squash, being careful not to take any skin with it.
In a large saucepan over low, combine the squash flesh, zest and juice of 1 orange, Worcestershire Sauce and the garlic oil. Stir to blend. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or additional molasses for sweetness.
Add the milk, cream and 1 cup of the water and stir to blend.
In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter and heat until lightly browned. Stir the browned butter into the soup.
Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches if necessary, and puree until smooth.
If a thinner soup is desired, an additional cup of water can be stirred in. Adjust seasonings. Serve topped with popcorn.
— Recipe from Alexandra Guarnaschelli