Butternut Squash Soup 2.10 The Bracebridge Dinner
“Humble servant, bring us the first course to dine with pleasure. Mmm, methinks it be a butternut squash soup.” “Ah, methinks you're right Squire Bracebridge, thus and verily.” “And verily thus.” “They're the Old England Abbot and Costello.” “'Tis perfection, but extremely hot.
“My Lord, do you need aid? Wouldst thou have thee ice thy tongue?” “Ah nay, Rune, nay. To the guests, thou shall serve the soup!” “What's the white stuff?” “I think it's cheese - or cream.” “And the green stuff?” “I think it's…best picked off.”
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed*
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 granny smith apple, cored, peeled, and diced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
10-12 fresh sage leaves, chopped finely
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp red chili flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you want the soup to be)
4 cups of chicken or veggie broth
½ cup of heavy cream (plus more for serving)
½ cup roasted peanuts
* Tip: Wrap the squash in a damp paper towel and microwave for 8-10 minutes to soften before peeling and chopping.
Instant Pot Method:
Add the squash, onion, apple, celery, and sage leaves in the pot. Add all spices. Cover with the broth.
Place the lid on top of the pot and set to manual. Set the timer for 15 minutes. After the timer beeps, quick release the pressure.
Remove the lid and either use an immersion blender until the soup is creamy or pour soup into a blender.
Once the soup is creamy, add in the cream and blend again to fully combine.
Serve the soup with more cream on top, peanuts, and additional red chili flakes if you want to kick up the spice
Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil in a large stockpot. Add the onion and celery and saute over medium heat until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the squash and apple. Continue sauteing until soft, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the sage leaves and spices and allow to saute for an additional minute.
Pour in the broth and allow to reach a boil. Allow the soup to boil for a couple minutes then reduce the heat to low.
Cover the soup and allow the soup to simmer for 40 minutes.
Follow steps 3-5 above.
I have followed many butternut squash soup recipes, on the hunt for the best one. Well, I think I’ve found it, the one I have put together for you! And I’m not saying that because I’m biased, this one was really my favorite! I combined the best parts of different soup recipes and went heavy on the cream because I prefer silky, smooth, and creamy soups. The granny smith apple adds an unexpected yet subtle tartness to the soup while the fresh sage complements the earthy flavors of the squash. I think any squash soup should have cinnamon; it doesn’t always have to be used just for sweets. The red pepper flakes also add a nice kick to the soup, but you can modify the amount to fit your spicy preference.
Soup season is my favorite- soups are seriously underrated. To me, they are like a warm hug in a bowl. While Texas is no longer having soup weather, even though we just had our winter storm just a few weeks ago, I’m still squeezing in a few more soups before I move onto summer salads. Regardless of what the weather is like where you live, you should give this butternut squash soup a try.
Now obviously, there was a lot of food to choose from for this episode- Sookie made a seven course meal! Though skipping peacock pie was an easy decision, I was tempted to try my hand at a plum pudding, or even make wassail! The town I attended college in hosts an annual wassail festival every year (I know, it screams Stars Hollow). All of the local businesses in the town square create their own wassail recipe and serve it to festival-goers, all completely free! Then everyone votes on their favorite and there is the big tree lighting ceremony. I really missed attending the festival last year due to the pandemic, so hopefully, it will be up and running again this December. I mentioned in my very first post, that I don’t know if I’ll actually make it through all 153 episodes of the series, but if I do (and cook my way through A Year in the Life), I just might go back and do some dishes that I skipped, and I think trying my hand at making a wassail recipe would be fun!
The Bracebridge Dinner is one of my favorite episodes from the entire series! There is so much packed into one episode and we get so many good moments. This episode is very townie heavy, so if the Stars Hollow characters aren’t your favorite part of the show, you might not enjoy it as much. Richard, Emily, and Paris are also at the dinner, so we get to experience worlds colliding. But where to begin our conversation?
One of the biggest plots of this episode is Emily finding out that Richard decided to retire, but he didn’t tell her. I think it’s perfectly acceptable for Emily to be upset. His retirement will affect their lives, and as his wife, she has a right to know. Part of me understands why he hadn’t told her yet; most of Richard’s identity is in his job, but at the same time, Emily deserved to know. However, the scene in which Emily finds out about his retirement is one of my favorites of Richard- when he regales the time he tried to hum Mozart over a boombox playing Cher in Prague. And of course, any Gilmore Guys fan will giggle at Michel’s “I like that song.”
Rory and Jess have one of their first romantic scenes in the sleigh during this episode. While I understand that the writers wanted to create a sort of “will they, won’t they” for Rory and Jess, it really annoys me how long Rory drags Dean along. I also hate that they completely changed Dean’s character to make Jess the more obvious choice. In this episode, Jess basically mocks Dean for not really knowing who Björk is. I think season one Dean would at least know who Björk is, but now in season two, he has to make room for cool Jess to be the one who knows all the musical references. I do like the three different scenes on the sleigh rides and how they are all similar as the three couples, or at least, soon-to-be couples, have conversations with great chemistry. Richard and Emily are adorable, Lorelai and Luke have a deep conversation about parenting, and Rory and Jess have more sexual tension.
What I think I love most about this episode though is how the different characters interact. Luke and Jess bond over their lack of amusement at the grandeur of the dinner, Mrs. Kim wonders if everyone says silent grace, and Taylor is enthralled with Richard’s tales. The Stars Hollow townies are truly what make this show special, so I enjoy episodes in which they are heavily featured. Tell me who your favorite townie is below!
If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!