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Squashy Deliciousness October 7, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, food porn, soupe du semaine.
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My love affair with winter squash continues. yummy.gif I finally tried something I’ve never had before and always kind of wanted to try, in a “yeah, that would probably not be bad” sort of way. 🙂

I made butternut squash soup. It was so easy it was almost embarrassing, too. And, although I’m pretty sure I know the answer, for posterity’s sake I’ve even frozen a “test” serving. But I’m pretty sure it will pass the make-ahead test with flying colors! 😆

So, to start. Uh, go to the market and get yourself a half-bushel of squash, then bring it home and wonder what the heck you’re going to do with all that squash! rotfl.gif

Seriously, we just got the November issue of Cook’s Country magazine, and by golly, there was a recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup right there. Go figure, huh? The perfect place to start. 😆

So, anyway, select a healthy-looking specimen (about 3 pounds or so), peel it, gut it (that is to say, remove the seeds and, erm, squash innards), then whack it into chunks – about 2 inches or so. And seriously, that was the hardest part. đŸ˜¯

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Your squash will get tossed with a couple of shallots, a couple of Tablespoons of vegetable oil, and a little salt and pepper (a teaspoon and a half teaspoon, respectively), then spread in a roasting pan and roasted for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until the squash is all roasty and soft. (And, for the record, yummy. ) 😉

Stir in a bit of chicken stock- about a half cup (you’re going to need 4 cups of stock – or one quart – total), (I actually used our homemade smoky poultry stock) and deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon (or a metal spatula, which is what I used for this) and just gently scrape the browned veggies and stir them around, letting the liquid help soften any bits that may be stuck to the pan – just scrape them off.

Now put the pan back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so, until the stock starts to reduce and the squash looks sort of glazed-over. đŸ˜¯

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Dump the whole pan of squash et al into a soup pot, along with the rest of the quart of chicken stock, and go after it with a stick blender. The stick blender is the coolest gadget, isn’t it? 😆

If you prefer, you can work in batches, and purÊe in a regular blender (the kind you use for margaritasrotfl.gif) with the stock, then dump the mixture into your soup pot. Over medium low heat, bring soup mixture to a simmer.

Now for the magic. :mrgreen:

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With soup barely simmering, stir in:

  • 1/8 tsp. freshly grated (please!) nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Kinda looks like Jackson Pollock‘s been in my kitchen, huh? rotfl.gif

A quick note about the maple syrup. 😀

About a year ago, Peeps and I enjoyed a weekend in Massachusetts with my parents. While there, we all took a day trip to Vermont and did, well, Vermont-y things. 🙄

We had yummy cheese, and we stumbled on a gas station-slash-gun shop which tickled my dear husband to no end! 😆

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And, of course, we picked up some maple syrup. Real Vermont maple syrup. Kinda had to, I guess, even though we do have perfectly lovely New York maple syrup. However, this is special – this is “Vermont Grade B” syrup, which is, essentially a little thicker, a little darker, and a little more strongly flavored than just regular ol’ syrup. 😀 So anyway, that’s what we used in our delicious soup.

OK, back to the soup. We’ve added our splashes of extra flavor with the syrup, vinegar and nutmeg. At this point, I took the soup off heat, checked the seasonings, let it cool a bit, then stuck in the fridge for dinner later in the week.

PhotobucketOK, it’s later. Magic internet time, remember? 😉

So here’s what we’ve got. We’ve put the soup back into a soup pot, and gently brought it back up to a simmer. Once there, we invited Jackson Pollock back to add in just a quarter cup of heavy cream. đŸ˜¯

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Yes, heavy cream. I toyed with the idea of using half-and-half, or (don’t tell Peeps thisshhh.gif) even maybe fat-free half-and-half. I just couldn’t do it. Look at it this way – this soup recipe makes about 4 servings. A quarter-cup is 4 Tablespoons. That translates to 1 measly Tablespoon per serving. A Tablespoon of heavy cream isn’t going to kill you. Especially with all the good mojo we’ve got going on with all the squash, plus the lovely, low-fat, low-sodium homemade (mostly turkey) poultry stock. And given the small tiny miniscule amount of cream, well, I wanted to get the most flavor for my fat gram. So to speak.

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Stir in the cream, make sure we’re all hot (without boiling, that is), and we’re ready to plate, er, bowl it.

8)

A quick grate of nutmeg on top, slice some homemade sourdough bread, and we’re ready to go.

Then Peeps had the clever idea to pour fresh apple cider with our soup, rather than milk. Perfect! The crisp, sweet cider was the perfect complement to the rich, velvety, almost – but not quite – heavy soup and was absolutely perfect. And there are two servings left – one for lunch tomorrow, and one in the freezer, to enjoy later on. Yay!

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A printer-friendly version of the recipe is available right here: Butternut Squash Soup

Enjoy. Really. 😀

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Comments

1. judy - October 7, 2008

Oh this sounds so good. It is getting to be soup time again! I did a beef vegetable soup myself today in my crock pot. It came out really good! It is always different because I use whatever I have in leftover veggies and meat. Had a whole ear of cooked, frozen corn that really thickens it up. Good eating ahead.

judy

2. Toy Lady - October 7, 2008

That sounds great, Judy! I was just thinking of making a beef vegetable soup myself! Maybe a little barley or something, too. . . hmmm. . .

We picked up some corn at the market a couple of weeks ago and got that in the freezer right away, too – it’s so much better that way, isn’t it?

3. origamifreak - October 7, 2008

Mmm. My favorite, though, is squash soup with curry in it. 🙂

4. Toy Lady - October 7, 2008

I did consider that – it intrigues me. I do love curry (Indian, not Thai) – and we’ve got plenty of squash. . .

5. Roasted Beet Soup « Dark Side of the Fridge - October 17, 2008

[…] – not all vegetables are created equal. Encouraged by the delightful deliciousness that was my roasted butternut squash soup a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try my hand at featuring another much-maligned, super […]


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