We made it to the finish line of the semester. Whew! My family is worn out from a busy, challenging semester. We are thankful for the little holiday break we get.
I have missed writing on the blog! It is my creative outlet and sadly, the absence of my presence here is an indication of the lack of leisure time lately. I have been trying to snap photos when cooking new things in hopes to share them when there is a clearing in my schedule. This one was the one I wanted to get posted first, as it’s been a favorite nourishment for me the past few weeks.
During the past month, I have been making this soup at the start of the week to pack up and eat for lunch at my desk. It has been so warm, comforting and fueling. The instructions were given to me by my friend Lynn via text one day, with lots of latitude for variation. I have tried some different things each time and think I’ve arrived at the recipe proportions I like best.
I learned from these experiments that the squash has so mild of a flavor, that whatever you add to the soup, that flavor really stands out. So be mindful- it’s a sensitive, though sturdy vegetable. (I relate. I’m pretty sturdy but very sensitive.) That might be a fun Christmas party conversation, “If you were a vegetable (or soup), which would you be?”
In Lynn’s recipe she said to use 1/2 of an onion. Since I didn’t have another use of 1/2 of an onion that day, and my husband dislikes an onion-scented refrigerator, I just dumped the entire onion in. No harm done, right? I do that all the time with soups. Well, it was good, but tasted like Onion-Squash soup. I over-did the fresh ginger on another batch- without testing it along the way, which produced a beautiful Ginger Squash soup. So… be cautious with your additional ingredients and taste to determine desired amounts. (Then jot it down so you can remember what you did!)
1 butternut squash
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
garlic, thyme, cayenne….whatever you like
toasted chopped pecans (or nuts of your choice) for topping
Preheat oven to 375˚. Using a big, sharp knife, slice one butternut squash in 1/2 lengthwise.
Using a brush, coat flesh with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place flesh side down on foil-lined baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Let it cook until nice and soft. 30 minutes or so. Test with a knife inserted into the flesh.
While the squash is roasting, sauté 1/2 onion and 3 or 4 cloves of garlic in a Tbsp. of oil.
Sauté a few minutes until soft.
Pour in 4 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you want to make it vegetarian). Carefully remove peeling from squash (it’s hot!). Add chunks of squash to onion and broth, simmer until squash becomes even softer. Add minced fresh ginger (optional: if you use it, don’t add too much).
Using a blender (immersion if you have one), blend until smooth. Add milk or cream if desired, and/or if you want to thin it out a bit.
Add cayenne pepper, thyme, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a little cayenne pepper sprinkled on top (for some heat) and toasted pecans (for a nutty crunch).
Stores well in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Wishing you a warm and healthy winter!