Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Butternut squash soup

Another foray into fall veggies. The roasted beets went well. So gathering courage, I attempted butternut squash. They're rather daunting...large and heavy and firm. The recipe I chose was a butternut squash soup gleaned from an online kitchen forum I frequent. It seemed very simple with the minimum of steps and ingredients. I'm trying to stick as best as I can with slow foods/whole foods, and this met the bill.

So here's the recipe:

2 med butternut squash
1 pound cooking apples
2 red onions
2 T butter
1 to 2 T grated fresh ginger root
dash cayenne
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper

Topped with:
maple syrup

Cut the squash in half and place on parchment paper cut side down. Roast in a 400 oven til the skin is collapsing in. Cut the apples in quarters. Core, but do not peel. Peel and quarter onions. When squash is done, remove from parchment w/ a spatula and put the apples and onions on the same paper. Roast till the apples are collapsing. Cool all and pull off the squash peel. Using a rubber scraper, remove the apple peel. Coarsely chop the red onions and saute them in 2 T butter til very soft. Add squash, apple pulp, and enough water to make it soupy. Add juice of a lemon. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Grate 1 to 2 Tbsp of fresh ginger root. Add a very tiny dash of cayenne...a little goes a long way ! Let simmer for about 30 min. Stick blender. Serve with yogurt/maple syrup blend swirled on top.

First thought. Cutting butternut squash in half isn't as simple as it seems. The squash is large and quite firm. It took multiple maneuvers with a chef's knife to accomplish. Perhaps this goes easier when one is more experienced.

Hmmm... problem. I had to use my largest cookie sheet to fit the squash. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a rim, and it looks like there are pools of squash liquid. How to get the sheet out without spilling boiling squash liquid on myself or the oven?? Oh goody. The liquid is now dripping onto the oven floor. Ultimate solution would be get a larger cookie sheet with raised rim.

It took my squash less than 30 minutes for their skins to start developing large bubbles. Very creepy/X-Files/Fringe-looking. Maybe several minutes past this to collapse.

The apples/onions took about fifteen minutes to collapse. This may have been a tad too long. Second thought. Roasted red onions are very difficult to chop because they're soft and slippery. You're supposed to coarsely chop, but I hate large bits of anything in my food so fine mince (or an approximation thereof) it is.

Question as I saute. How soft is "very soft"? The onions were already quite soft from being roasted.

The question I thought I'd have (how much water to add) was actually a non-issue. It seemed relatively easy to eyeball the mixture and add enough liquid for it to seem soupy and not stewy. We'll see in the end if it's the right amount. Added about four cups all told.

Result? Delish! I topped it with a dollop of Fage yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. It was sweet and a bit earthy with a very slight bite from the cayenne. And it was very, very good for you. Hardly any added oils at all. This is an almost perfect late fall soup, and would be great paired with pork chops or a game bird. Mmmm...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for commenting. I love reading your thoughts and responses.