Friday, January 15, 2016

Byoooooootiful Soooooouuuup!

 When I was in college, my health-conscious roommate was particularly fond of squash. She'd make different kinds, and I'd watch her eat them and just shake my head. I was in a Taco Bell and cheap wine phase - what can I say? Anyway, this one time, she made a butternut squash soup, and she raised an eyebrow at me and said, "You should try this. It's really good." I looked at her and thought to myself, "You are an actual crazy person if you think I'm eating that", but I did try it, and she was right. It was amazing.

A few years ago, I was trying to come up with a good winter soup to make, and I remembered Laura and her squash, and I decided to see what I could come up with. I'll say up-front that there's a good bit of prep involved, and this baby has a long simmer, so I make a LOT of it to ensure tons of leftovers. It freezes well, and it's a good thing to make when people you really like are coming over for supper.

Start by prepping your squash. You can roast it in the shell, but I find that this wastes a lot of the squash, so after I chop it up and scoop out the seeds (an ice cream scoop works well for that), I peel off the shell with a vegetable peeler.

Put the pieces face down in a baking dish with some water in the bottom. Coat the tops with a little oil, then roast until soft.

While that's happening, chop up half an onion, a whole head of garlic, and however many carrots seem good to you, and then saute them in your fat of choice. I like butter.

When the squash is done, put it in the pan with the other vegetables and break it up.

Add 8 Cups of your broth of choice. I use chicken broth, but you can go veg if you want to. It will not hurt my feelings. Add another 4-6 Cups of water. Mix it up and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then blend until very smooth. I use my immersion blender for this, so I don't have to take it off the stove.

Now it's important to start tasting and seasoning fairly regularly. I just use salt, pepper, and chili pepper.

After blending the first time, the soup will be fairly thin and a little weird. I simmer it for a couple of hours, tasting and testing, and then I blend it again. I usually make this around lunch time with the intention of serving it for supper and just simmer it all afternoon.

I'm sure someone could figure out a crockpot way to do this, but I'm not your huckleberry on that. I tried it, and I got so frustrated that I poured it back into a saucepan and did it on the stove. Pouring it was messy, and it made me mad. I'll stick to the stove top method.

I like this soup on its own, but it's also great with some meat thrown in.


Stuff you need:

2 medium butternut squash (or one giant one)
1/2 yellow onion
1 head garlic
lots o' carrots
oil of your choice to saute veg and coat squash
8 C broth
5-6 C Water
spices of your choice (salt, pepper, chili pepper)

Time and patience
Possibly a funnel to pour this directly into your face when it's done.

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