Recently the women’s group at my church held a fundraiser. Each participant took 3 containers and filled them with whatever they could think of. We had soups, sauces, chili, salads, and other yummy concoctions. I chose to make a butternut squash soup with caramelized onions. The sweet onions were a perfect compliment to the butternut squash which I also roasted before blending. Roasting the squash with thyme really elevated the recipe. Needless to say, my containers didn’t last very long at the table.
Make note that there are two time consuming steps that can be going on at once. While the squash is roasting make sure to start caramelizing your onions. Caramelizing onions takes about 30-40 minutes but it is well worth it. Once the roasting and caramelizing is done the rest of the recipe goes pretty quick.
The money we raise goes towards whatever specific need the church may have at the time. We pick something new every year. It has become a traditional fundraiser now! As the snow melts and the last drop is finished, I am secretly glad I have one container stashed in the freezer. This will be good for a rainy day!
I found the butternut squash pre-cut. I spread the pieces out on the baking sheet seasoned them with salt, pepper, and thyme. Then drizzled the olive oil over the top and tossed to coat.
If you are using a whole butternut squash. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Brush the edges lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and thyme into the cavity. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and roast until very soft. This could take 45 min to an hour. Remove from the oven and let the squash cool enough for you to be able to handle. Then scoop out the flesh. Discard thyme sprigs.
Once the squash is prepped and roasted add it to a heavy bottomed pot, like a dutch oven.
Meanwhile caramelize your onions.
In large saute pan add your olive oil and butter over a medium high heat. Remember the key to good caramelized onions is low and slow! Do not bump up the heat to speed up the process!
After ten minutes sprinkle the salt and sugar over the onions. If it seems that onions are drying out add a little more oil. Let the onions sit for about 30 minutes to an hour more. You want to leave them alone so they brown but move them around every so often so they don't burn. If you find they are burning add a little bit of water to the pan.
Add sage leaves the pan with the onions as the start to brown. Saute them along with the onions.
After the onions are caramelized add them to the pot with the roasted squash. Then add your chicken broth Let the mixture come to a simmer for about 10 minutes and then cool.
You can transfer the mixture to a blender, food processor, or use a hand blender. I used a hand blender, right in the pot and blended until smooth.
After the mixture is blended return to the pot. Add the marsala to the pot and simmer 5 minutes more. Than add the creamy and stir. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.