Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


This is a simple soup that can be taken a lot of different directions depending on how you'd like to spice it up.  The basic version has three main ingredients:  squash, onion and water.  You could add curry powder and coconut milk, cinnamon and maple syrup, a cup or two cooked rice, barley or adzuki beans for texture, or just leave it as is.  In the picture above I've garnished it with toasted pumpkin seeds and feta cheese.  The texture of the seeds and the saltiness of the cheese balanced nicely with the sweetness of the squash.  It would also be nice with a drizzle of sesame oil and some chopped walnuts or hazelnuts.  Lots of options.  Give it a try and tell me what you do with it.



This is hands down the largest butternut squash I've ever seen in my life.  I have a tiny oven that requires tiny baking pans and I was only able to fit half of it on me wee cookie sheet.  The rest of it I roasted in a couple of pie tins.


INGREDIENTS
1 Butternut squash
Olive/Sunflower or Coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion - diced
Veggie stock or water to cover

METHOD

Start by roasting the squash.  Cut in half and de-seed.  Brush the cut side lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt, and place face down in your baking dish along with about a half a cup of water.  Poke some holes in the skin with a fork, and bake at 400 until tender - 30 to 40 minutes.

In the mean time, dice your onion and start to sweat it in a medium stock pot over medium low heat with a big pinch of salt.

When the squash is tender and the edges have started to brown, remove from the oven, remove the skin, and roughly chop into cubes.

If you're adding curry powder or other spices, add them to the sweating onions and cook together for a minute or two, until they're nice and fragrant.  You may also want to add a clove or two of garlic at this point.

Add the cubed squash to the onions and add enough water or stock just to cover.  Bring up to temperature.  Everything is cooked at this point, so there's no need to cook it much further. 

Puree with an immersion blender, or carefully work in batches with a blender.

Once pureed, make any final additions;  coconut milk, cream, cooked rice, barley, adzuki beans, etc.  Adjust seasoning and enjoy!

Here below it's served alongside a sprouted lentil loaf (recipe coming soon) and a light, lemony arugula salad.



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