roasted squash soup with chicken croquettes

Leftover rotisserie chicken.  Most of us enjoy the convenience of picking up a rotisserie chicken at our local market.  At our house, we always look for the chicken roaster breast variety.  It has a ton of meat on it.  As a result, we may end up with more than we need for a meal.  Usually, I’ll throw together some homemade chicken salad for tomorrow’s lunch or save it for my next batch of soup.

Speaking of soup, why not top off your favorite creamy soup with these homemade chicken croquettes?  They’ll turn that soup into a meal.  Actually, they’re pretty darn good just as they are …fresh from the pan.  But, since there’s still a chill in the air on this last day of April, let’s talk soup.

How easy is this?  The squash is cut in half, seeds & pulp scooped out then seasoned.  That’s it.  It will need about an hour to roast.  So …while that’s hangin’ out in the oven, let’s get to work on those croquettes.

The veggies are sautéed in oil until they’re tender and flavorful.  The majority of them will be removed and set aside to add to the croquette mixture.  But don’t worry, you’ll still have lots of flavor in the soup.

Of course, you could easily use leftover turkey for this recipe.  In fact, when I bite into one of these crispy croquettes …the flavor reminds me of Thanksgiving dinner.  Also, this can be made gluten-free simply by using gluten-free breadcrumbs in the mix.

By the time the croquettes are done, the squash should be roasted and slightly cooled.

The squash is carefully scooped out of the skin.  Be careful here …the skin tends to be brittle from roasting and can be easily torn while you’re scooping.  Since we’re making a velvety textured soup, no skin should be included.

After a brief simmer, the soup is blended until smooth.  I use an immersion blender.  Alternately, you could use your blender or food processor.  Once blended, the milk is added for that touch of creaminess.

Top off each serving of soup with two or three croquettes and fresh sage.  When the croquettes are broken up in the soup, it creates a delicious chunky meal-in-a-bowl.  Just add bread and enjoy.

roasted squash soup with chicken croquettes

Adapted from Cooking Light

Use your leftover chicken or turkey to make the croquettes.  Roast some pumpkin, kabocha or butternut squash for this delicious silky soup.

Servings 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Roasted Squash Soup

  • 2 pounds butternut squash (pumpkin or kabocha squash, can also be used)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (about 1 ounce)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk (for richer soup, use regular milk or light cream)
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chicken Croquettes

  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, finely chopped (about 8.5 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs, divided * (or gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • 2 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • fresh sage leaves, for garnish (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. To prepare soup, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membrane. Place squash, cut-sides up, on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with honey; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake for 1 hour or until tender; cool. Scoop out squash with a spoon; discard skin.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic; sauté 10 minutes or until tender. Remove 3/4 cup vegetables; set aside. Add broth to dutch oven or pan; cook over medium heat 12 minutes. Stir in roasted squash. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to make the soup smooth.  Alternately, place the soup in the bowl of your food processor or blender; process until smooth. Add 1 cup milk and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Set aside.

  4. To prepare croquettes, combine reserved vegetables, chicken, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and next 6 ingredients (1/4 cup breadcrumbs through egg white). Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or until firm. Shape into 14 to 16 patties; press 1 cup breadcrumbs onto patties.

  5. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of the patties to the pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove croquettes from the pan; keep warm. Repeat procedure with the remaining patties, adding more oil if necessary.

  6. Reheat soup. Divide evenly among 4 to 6 bowls; top with the desired number of croquettes. Garnish with fresh sage leaves, if using.

Recipe Notes

* For crispier croquettes, replace breadcrumbs with panko breadcrumbs.  Regular or gluten-free.

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