Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Butternut Squash Soup
I have a beautiful butternut squah soup simmering on the back of the stove. The recipe is sooo easy that I just chop and drop into the pot without really measuring. Great soup for grayish/coldish/wettish/foggyish type days. There is a good skeleton to this soup that you can really use as a jumping off point when you get comfortable with it. I did a bit of experimenting today and I like what I ended up with.

I get a hankerin' to make this soup about every two weeks. I adore the deep orange color of the liquid because its so cozy. I am dying to paint my living room walls the same color.

Start with a large stock pot and some garlic infused olive oil.
Heat up the oil and throw in about 1/2 a large yellow onion, a few cloves of garlic, and one large leek.
Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste.

Here's where I experimented: To the sizzling onions I added a few pinches of Madras curry and a dash of cayanne...just trust me Also threw in some sliced red peppers and baby carrots.end experimentation

A package of pre-peeled and cubed butternut squash comes next...I still feel the need to chop up the squash a bit more before dropping.
Next add two or three small hard apples. I like pink ladies or gala personally because they are hard, sweet and taste nice (read the posts during apple pie season, they'll make your mouth water). Core the apples, chop and drop into pot, skins and all (oh so healthy).
Add to this, some ground or fresh ginger.
Let everything sizzle and soften at a medium temp., turning mixture frequently. It smells gorgeous.

Today I added a bit of white wine at this point. It was open and on the bar and I wanted to feel like a chef today (try it and see what I mean. Use just enough white wine to get the bottom of the pot wet.

Now comes the stock, either veggie or chicken, homemade or canned (I'll won't tell if you won't) approximately 2 to 2.5 cups, or enough to almost cover the veggies in the pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer, and let the vegetables get almost smushy.

Take off heat and let cool.

Transfer with ladle (I just got a long handled metal one and it makes me feel very important) to a blender in two batches. Puree the first batch until smooth and pu in clean bowl. Repete with second batch and transfer back to recently rinsed out stock pot...add the first batch and stir. keep on low and let the flavors meld. Just before serving, swirl in a pinch of crumbled romano cheese. (totally optional for all of you lactose intolerant souls.)

Today, I'm making fresh hot cornbread with this (not enough energy to write that experience today)

I've also served this topped with crumbled fried sage or a dollop cider infused sour cream.