This is the soup I make often varying the ingredients slightly –with more onion or leek, sometimes adding chopped, dried mushrooms instead of the chicken broth. The topping also may vary; once I made a kind of caper-scallion-chard pesto instead of the fried peas.
Just toasted pine nuts with chopped cilantro are also a fine, simpler topping for this comforting winter soup.
About ½ cup olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onion, or thinly sliced leek
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 ½ – 4 cups peeled and coarsely grated butternut squash –about 4 pounds (2 kilos) unpeeled squash
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, as needed
Salt and red pepper flakes, preferably Aleppo or Maras pepper, to taste
½ cup brandy (or sweet wine)
1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt, or more to taste
1 cup green peas fried in olive oil together with ½ cup drained capers
½ cup toasted pine nuts
Extra Virgin Olive oil for drizzling (optional)
Heat the oil in a heavy four-liter saucepan. Add the onions or leek and sauté, stirring for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and sauté slowly until they are translucent –don’t let them brown. Stir in the garlic. Add the grated squash and sauté, stirring for 8-10 minutes until soft, then add 2 cups of the broth, cover and simmer until the squash is very tender, about 15 minutes. Puree the mixture with a stick-blender.
Up to this point the soup can be prepared in advance, even refrigerated or frozen.
Return the puree to the saucepan adding the rest of the broth -and more, if needed– stir and reheat slowly, then add the brandy or wine. Season with salt and pepper flakes, add the yogurt and stir well to mix; taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve topping each portion with sautéed peas and pine nuts, drizzling with some fruity olive oil, if you like.