02 January 2009

Butternut Squash Soup & Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

A grilled cheese sandwich with a cup of soup is one of the staples in the Great American Diet - perfect for chilly fall evenings or perhaps as lunch in the midst of the snowy winter. Since we don't get snowy winters here in Austin, and "chilly" is when the mercury hits 60 degrees (that's 15 degrees Celsius for the rest of the world), I make my grilled cheese sandwiches and soup whenever I damn well please, thank you very much.

I was charged with the "make the food" task for Thanksgiving this year (all right, I charged myself with the "make the food" task, so what?) and decided to start people off with a butternut squash soup. It went down really well, so I decided to make it again recently, removing the canned tomato soup that generally seems to be the standard side for a grilled cheese from the equation. And now, the recipe!

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 cups chicken stock (homemade if you're into that sort of thing, low salt content if you buy it)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • pepper
  • freshly ground nutmeg
  • butter or olive oil
Heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds - these can be toasted in a pan for a snack once cleaned and dried, but I'm not going to go into detail here. Cut the squash halves into half inch-thick pieces (leave the peel on) and put them in an oven pan, skin side down. Dab with butter (or drizzle with olive oil), salt and pepper. Put the pan in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until very soft. Remove from oven. Scoop the fruit from the peel into a blender. Add the chicken stock and puree until no lumps remain (you can also use a stick blender if you have one, just put the ingredients in a pot instead). Pour the mixture into a pot and bring to a simmer. Add the heavy cream and nutmeg and bring back to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Yes, you probably don't need the recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich, but I'm going to be thorough here, so here it is anyway.

  • 2 slices of bread. I prefer sourdough, but anything goes
  • Enough cheese to cover the face of one slice of bread. I like Cracker Barrel Cheddar, but anything that melts goes (Mozzarella is interesting, and provolone is fantastic too)
  • Spreadable butter
  • Black pepper (optional)
Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread. I usually grab my bread from the freezer and by the time it's about to hit the pan, it'll be thawed enough. Now, add slices of cheese on the non-buttered side of one slice of bread. Add freshly ground black pepper, if you want to. Now add the other slice of bread on top, buttered side up.

Heat a skillet (I use my iron cast pan because iron cast pans rock) to medium high, add a tiny bit of vegetable oil if you want to, fry bread on each side for roughly one minute or until golden brown. Serve immediately with a cup of hot soup.

The soup will last in the fridge for 3-4 days, in the freezer for about a month but is absolutely best served right away. The sandwiches won't last long, at least not with me around because I'll eat them all.


  1. I love squash soup - my mum does a fancier recipe, but I'll have to try this out sometime.

  2. Yeah, this is definitely not an advanced recipe, but the end result is really good.