Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Butternut Squash Soup kind of day

Good morning, Crushers!

Steve and I have been working on getting through some of the veggies we still had stored in our freezer from last fall's harvest. We recently ate roasted beets from his family's garden. Remember when they turned my hands purple? Fortunately, that didn't happen when we roasted them this time! HA!

I had some left over butternut squash from fall when I made risotto with my grandpa. Freezing the leftovers really paid off because I was able to turn the squash into a really nice soup last weekend. Perfect for a Tuesday night dinner with some fancy grilled cheese (provolone with spinach and mushrooms - yum!). This recipe made enough for the both of us for dinner plus three 2-cup containers for the freezer!

I took a the Butternut Squash and Carrot soup recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and tweaked it. I didn't have enough carrots on hand, so I substituted potatoes. Also, I couldn't find nutmeg anywhere in the house, so I used cinnamon instead. The soup was a bit sweet, but it was a nice compliment to the salty grilled cheese.

Butternut Squash Soup:
3-4 cups butternut squash, peeled and chopped into one inch pieces
2 cups potatoes (I used red potatoes), peeled and chopped into small pieces
1/2 a large onion, diced
1 Tbsp butter
1 32 oz box container of low-sodium chicken broth (veggie broth would work too)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup half-and-half or heavy whipping cream

Gear you'll need: A large sauce pan or pot, measuring cups and spoons, a blender or food processor, a sharp knife, cutting board and veggie peeler.

I was fortunate enough to already have peeled my squash, so I didn't have to do that again. What a challenge! Anyway, peel your potatoes and dice them and the onions if you haven't already done so. Put the potatoes, squash, diced onion and butter in the pan/pot and cook for about 7-8 minutes stirring occasionally. They should be tender when you poke them with a knife.
Simmerin' away...

Once the veggies are tender, add the broth and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for a good 25 minutes. You can stir it occasionally. Your squash and potatoes might start to break down a bit. That's perfectly OK since you're going to puree it in a minute.

While that's simmering away, assemble your blender or food processor. I know that I'm one of the biggest food processor fans in the whole world, but I chose to use a blender for this one. I KNOW. Here's why:
  1. I knew I would be pouring hot liquids and the blender has a spout.
  2. It is easy to measure with the lines on the side of the blender, although you don't REALLY need to measure too much.
  3. It is easy to clean up!
  4. It has a puree button.
  5. I couldn't find the right attachment that I wanted to use on my food processor.
Really, numbers 1 and 4 were my biggest reasons, but I figured I'd share them all just in case it sways you one way or the other.
Make sure the lid is on tight!
Once you're all done simmering, add about 1/3 of the mixture to the blender, make sure you have the lid on securely, and puree the heck out of it! Make sure it's nice and creamy. Although the original recipe said to return it to your sauce pan, I just put it in a big bowl that has a lid because I knew I'd be storing it before we'd eat it. As you repeat the steps to puree the mixture, be careful that you don't spill and burn your fingers or arm.


Anyway, once you've got that all done and in a large bowl or back in your sauce pan, add the cream and spices. You could have added the spices already, so if you did, that's fine. I don't think it matters too terribly much. All the real chefs out there can prove me wrong in the comments if you'd like!

Now you can divide the soup into "now and later" portions or you can just stand there with a spoon and eat it. There's no judging here.


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