Creamy butternut squash soup with ginger

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 6
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with shaved almonds.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)
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Apple cider vinegar is the secret to the profound squash flavor in this butternut-squash soup with ginger. Add it a little at a time until you find the right amount. For an eight-cup batch of soup, I added it in half-teaspoon doses until I got just the right effect with a little more than a tablespoon. Remember to go slowly -- you can always add more, but you can’t take away.

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Peel the squash, using a sharp vegetable peeler. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut in 1-inch chunks.


Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger root and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the diced squash, water and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook at a low simmer until the squash is tender enough to smash with a spoon, about 30 minutes.


Puree the soup, either using an immersion blender or grinding it in several stages in a regular blender. The soup should be completely smooth and a little thicker than heavy cream. Ladle the soup through a strainer into a clean soup pot, discarding any bits of squash or ginger left behind.


Heat the soup through once more and season to taste, adding salt first and then the vinegar. Add the vinegar one-half teaspoon at a time; it will take a little more than 1 tablespoon.


To serve, stir the creme fraiche to loosen the texture. Ladle the soup into wide bowls and spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche in a decorative pattern onto each. Scatter a few toasted slivered almonds over the soup and serve immediately.