Thursday, May 27, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

Everyone at our house has been suffering from bronchitis. Fun times. When I am sick there is nothing I want more then soup. I know that chicken noodle is the expected thing, but this is one of the most comforting soups I have ever eaten. The only ingredient you can't compromise on is the fresh ginger, it won't have the same flavor or curative powers. 1 regular onion can be substituted for the leeks (the flavor won't be as mild), chicken broth can replace the veg, and any type of squash can be used. You can bake and scoop the squash up to a day before or take the SUPER easy route and use 2 cans (28 oz each) of pumpkin. Enjoy!

Preheat oven to 400ยบ.
Place cut side down on an baking pan:
   1 medium to large butternut squash (~3.5 lbs.) halved and seeded.
Put about 1-2" of water in pan to prevent browning. Bake until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool, then scoop the pulp from the squash skin and discard skin.
Meld in a soup pot over medium-low heat:
   3 Tbsp unsalted butter or oil
Add and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, 5-10 min
   2 Large leaks (white part only), cleaned thoroughly and chopped
   4 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
Sir in the squash along with:
   4 cups vegetable stock or broth
Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and breaking up the squash with a spoon for 20 minutes. Put in small batches in the blender and puree until smooth, setting aside after each batch. Return to pot and stir in:
   2 cups vegetable stock or broth
   1 1/2 tsp salt
Heat through. Ladle into warmed bowls. Garnish with:
   Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
   Parmesan cheese goldfish (my favorite)

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