Savory Squash Soup with Fried Onions

This recipe makes me very happy. I love squash but I hate traditional squash soup because it is too sweet. This recipe is awesome and the fried onions really help make it fantastic. In the picture, I added some roasted seeds, but decided the recipe was better without them.

Ingredients:
*2-3lbs butternut squash
*3/4 large yellow onion – finely chopped
*2-3 Tbs olive oil
*2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
*1 bay leaf
*1 tsp dried thyme
*1 tsp dried sage (or 4-5 fresh leaves chopped fine)
*Water, veggie stock or chicken stock (or any combination) – enough to cover (about 3-4 cups)
*1-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
*2 Tbs unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper

For fried onions:
*remaining 1/4 onion
*2 small shallots
*2-3 TBS olive oil

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half, lenght-wise. Scoop out seeds and discard (or roast for eating later). Place squash, cut side down, on a sheet pan and cook for 40 minutes, or until a sharp knife pierces the flesh easily. Cool, then scoop out flesh.

2) Put a large stock pot over medium heat. Add 1 Tbs olive oil and then onions, garlic, bay leaf, sage and thyme. Sweat until onions are translucent. Add the squash and enough liquid to cover. Cook for 20 minutes or longer, until the squash is very soft. Remove the bay leaf. Using a stick blender (or food processor) puree the soup until it is velvety and smooth. Season with butter, 1 TBS olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice (believe me add the lemon). Stir thoroughly and taste. Adjust with more salt and pepper and olive oil if needed.

3) While soup is cooking take about 2-3 TBS olive oil and warm it in a small pan. Finely slice the 1/4 yellow onion and shallots. Add the onions to the pan and fry over medium high heat, stirring every few minutes to keep portions from over browining and burning. When the whole batch of onions takes on a medium brown appearance it is done. Take it off the heat and drain excess oil. (You can refrigerate the oil and use it for other cooking)

4) Serve the soup with a sprinkle of the fried onions. Enjoy as an appetizer or as a meal on its own with some hearty bread.

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