Cheesecloth Butternut_squash_soup

Butternut Squash Soup with Maker's Mark® Crème Fraiche

by Chef Craig Deihl

This silky soup is perfect for the fall and holiday season served hot, and it can be lightened up and served chilled during the warmer months. If you don't have time to make your own crème fraiche, you can usually find it in your grocer's dairy section.

Prep Time: 1-2 days ahead
Cook Time: 1 hour
Level: Easy

Serves 4

Maker's Mark® Crème Fraiche

1/4 cup Maker's Mark® Bourbon
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan and heat to 100°F. Remove from heat and add the buttermilk.
  2. Transfer to a small jar or lidded container and store for 24 hours in a 75°F temperature area.
  3. When the crème fraiche has thickened, add the salt and bourbon and stir until incorporated.
  4. Place into a small container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Butternut Squash Soup

1/4 cup Maker's Mark® Bourbon
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
3 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed 1"
1/2 cup dry sherry wine
2 cups water
1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, sage and thyme), wrapped and tied in cheesecloth
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (grated on microplane)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup whole pecan halves
1 tablespoon sage, chiffonade
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons maple syrup
Freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish

  1. Place a large pot over medium heat. Add butter, garlic and shallots. Sweat until translucent; keep the mixture moving.
  2. Add the butternut squash, sherry and Maker's Mark® Bourbon. Cook until all of the liquid has almost evaporated, 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add water and the bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. The squash should be soft. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth, or process in batches in a blender.
  5. Add the cold butter and incorporate using a whisk. Strain soup through a fine mesh sieve and keep hot.
  6. Place sauté pan over medium heat. Add the 3 tablespoons of butter and pecans to pan. Toast for 2 minutes. Lower temperature to low and add the chopped sage. Toss with the nuts until the sage becomes dark green and crisp about a minute. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  7. In four serving bowls place equal amounts of butternut squash soup. Place two tablespoons of Maker's Mark® crème fraiche in the middle of each soup. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and sage. Using a microplane, grate a fine amount of nutmeg over dishes. Finish with a tablespoon of maple syrup on each and serve immediately.

Tags: Bourbon Maker's Mark Nutmeg Heavy Cream Salt Maple Syrup Pecans Sage Shallots Garlic Butter Bay Leaves Buttermilk Thyme White Pepper Sherry Cheesecloth Soups & Chili Butternut Squash Craig Deihl Hungry

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