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Butternut squash soup

I made about four bazillion tons of squash puree for soup this week. Yeah, I should take a picture of a bowl of the soup but I think the only clean bowls have Scooby-Doo on them. Anyway, this soup is good and it's a pretty color. This is an easy recipe I adapted from a snootier one from Williams-Sonoma.

You'll need

A couple of butternut squashes (about 6#)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
3c chicken stock (bullion cubes work fine)
Nut puree*
1c cream if you got it, otherwise use milk
A bit of creme fraiche, sour cream, or plain yogurt (for a topper)

Whack the squashes in half being sure not to cut off your fingers. Clean out the seeds and guts, brush some olive oil (or other fat) over them front and back, and set them face down on a baking sheet. Poke some holes in the back and let them roast for at least an hour.

If they roast longer and get a little burnt, that's fine. When they're done roasting, take them out of the oven and let them cool.

When cool enough to handle, scrape all the meat out and toss into a food processor big bowl. I usually toss the stuff in a little food processor Rose gave the fab GF and I about one million years ago and then push it through a strainer with a spoon as 1) I don't have a ricer and 2) I am insane. But you can just mash it with a potato masher.

Put the mashed squash (sounds redundant) in a large saucepan and add the 3c of stock. Bring to a boil stirring every now and then. Add the nut puree and the cream or milk. If it's thick, add more stock. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle or pour into Sccoby-Doo bowls and top with a teaspoon or so of creme fraiche, sour cream, or yogurt.

You want the sour-y taste to counter the sweetness of the squash and the nuts, so add more or less as you like.

It stores great and with a slice of homemade bread, it's a great meal.

*Chestnuts are best, but any nut you can roast and chop up will work. If you want pistachios, get the unsalted kind. I don't know how good peanuts would be, but I bet they'd work, too. The easiest way to get the skins off is to roll them in a dishtowel. Hear me out: dump the nuts onto a damp dish towel, roll up the towel, and then roll the towel back and forth with your palms. The skins sorta give up and fall off, which is good because they're usually kind of bitter.

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Submitted by gob on

for parsnip soup. I love parsnips. Parsnips do more than Milton can to justify winter's ways to man.

Easy-peasy if you have an immersion blender

Some parsnips, maybe a pound (I'm cooking for one, with leftovers)
Somewhat fewer carrots
Some chicken stock (veg stock not as yummy but will do)
Sour cream or yogurt or creme fraiche (as if!) for topping

Chop up the carrots and parsnips and throw them in the stock or broth or whatever. Boil until soft. Blend with the immersion blender right in the pot. Or throw it in a counter-top blender or food processor.

Taste. Add whatever you think is necessary. Usually I don't add anything.

Serve with whatever topping.

Submitted by ohio on

I like parsnips, too. I make a mashed potato parsnip thing which is really really complicated: Boil potato. Boil parsnip. Mash together. Add something like butter or sour creme or creme fraiche (hahaha!) and salt and pepper. Use fork to shovel into face.

It's a toughie.

Seriously, creme fraiche ain't hard.

Submitted by gob on

I'm sure glad you mentioned that. Just in case I'm not the only one around here in need of this info, googling turns up this:

Add a couple of spoonfuls of yogurt or buttermilk to heavy cream and let stand in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours.

Thanks!

Submitted by ohio on

This is good and easy, too:

Warm up 2c of heavy cream
Stir in 3T buttermilk

I put the mix in a canning jar and wrap a towel around it. Let it sit at room temperature (preferably in the sun) for 24 hrs. Give it a shake every 6 hours or so. It should thicken up. Put it in the fridge for a day and it should be nice and thick.

And if you really want to do it up...

New England Cheesemaking

Ricki the cheese queen really does it up. I've made mozzarella (it's great), fromage blanc, creme fraiche, and yogurt from the cultures she sells. I have some kefir culture I need to start this weekend. Heck, I had a liter of fresh yogurt I made last Saturday from these cultures.

A great little sweet is to take a tart or sponge cake, put in a bit of lemon curd, some berries (fresh if you can, frozen and drained otherwise), and a generous slug of fraiche.

Have fun.

Submitted by hipparchia on

how did you know that i needed this recipe?

i've never really cared for butternut squash, but bought some, along with some acorn squash, because they were all available and cheap, and i'm planning to roast them all soon.

i have a good one for the acorn squash already, but i was holding off till i could figure out what to do with the butternut squash. thanks!

Submitted by ohio on

Are you some sort of stealth anti-crime-fighting-cartoon-dog sort of person?

You have at least one set of cartoon dishes, right? Right?

A novelty mug? We have a mug from the Yorkshire Dungeon that reveals a ghost Roman soldier when you pour hot chocolate into it.

Now that's what I call a cultural artifact.

Submitted by hipparchia on

rather than lug the cultural artifacts across town, i gave them all to charity. i figure it's enough that i moved 11 feral cats and one elderly dog into the new abode.

roasted acorn squash

- cut squash in half
- slice a small section off the opposite side [because the squash has to stand up later]
- prep and cook [upside down] as you do for the butternut squash
- remove from oven [leave the oven on]
- turn over so that the center hole is on top [right side up]
- fill hole with chopped walnuts, crystallized ginger, some dried cranberries, a little butter
- drizzle with honey or sprinkle with brown sugar
- return to oven [right side up!] until filling is heated through

i used to have a real recipe for this, but lost it. now i just use whatever chopped nuts and dried fruit i feell like [and have on hand] and vary the sugar between honey, brown sugar and molasses.

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Submitted by Eureka Springs on

creamy butternut squash soup with warm french bread and a salad. garnish soup with fresh watercress if you have it. (never eat watercress from streams where beaver live nearby - health hazard).

When pressed for time, in lieu of roasting I par boil my squash... remove when about one third to half (no more - not too soft) cooked and cool with running water in order to be able to handle while peeling easily.

then boil skinned chunks till soft. Drain and place in blender... about 1/3 squash.. leaving room for other liquids, and air on top.

Chicken bullion (if cubes 2 to 3 per blender full), and as heavy a dairy product as you enjoy. Also I find white pepper to be a great compliment in this soup (in blender along with everything else).

Vegan friends substitute dairy and bullion products with apple cider/juice... which is wonderful as well.

P.S. always make more than you think you will need... guests will go crazy over this soup.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

3weeks ago. It had sweet potatoes and squash. And, of course, a dollop of creme fraiche and bacon on top.

Making soup is now substituting for politics for me.

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Submitted by gizzardboy on

Add a bit of pumpkin pie spice to some of your butternut squash soup. I had a recipe for zucchini soup with pumpkin pie spice, so I tried it with the butternut squash soup and liked it that way.

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

have never eaten a winter squash. Not in soup, not roasted, not ever(consumption of pumpkin pie being the exception to this rule) . I'm not sure why not.

Having now read two years worth of lambert's posts on growing squash in his garden and various other posts like this one of ohio's, I feel I am now ready to venture into the land of squash cooking and eating.

Roasting a butternut seems like a good place to start. Any recommendations as to the best, tastiest way to do this? Do I need butter or will olive oil work? How about brown sugar? At what oven temp?

Are there other squash that would be tastier or simpler to cut open and cook?