Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chilled Butternut Squash Soup

Ah, Fall, when all sorts of wholesome, warm, comfort foods conspire to fill us.

And then it got hot.  Like 100º hot on October 1st.  So I decided to find out what butternut squash soup tasted like when chilled.

Squash soup and I go back about ten years.  And every time I try to make it, something explodes and I have to clean the kitchen.  This time, I was determined to do it right.

First, I bought pre-diced squash, eliminating the likelihood of blood ending up on the counter.  I really hate cutting squash, and the feeling is mutual.  It's about twice the cost of buying the squash whole, but it saves you a lot of time and effort.  This time, I considered it worth the money.  As far as pureeing, that is where I usually run into trouble with scalding hot soup.  I have tried immersion blenders and the food processor.  Neither was a good idea.  This time, I got out the heavy-duty blender and did it in small batches.  Somehow, I managed to get all but a few drops pureed and in the final container.

All of the chicken and vegetable broths at the store except one contained way too much salt, and that one cost almost as much as the squash.  I opted for a small onion instead.  I also waited to check the salt until the soup had cooled, and decided that I didn't need any at all.  Feel free to add some if you think it will help.

A side note that has nothing to do with this recipe: Dried-basil pesto has officially surpassed Things that don't expire as my most-viewed post.  Looks like I'm not the only one stuck with lots of dried herbs.

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (or one 20 oz package pre-cut cubes)
*1/3 C chopped walnuts
1/2 C chopped onion
1 Tb olive oil
2 C water
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Plain yogurt or sour cream for garnish

1.  In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium.  Add walnuts and onion and sauté until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

2.  Add squash, ginger, nutmeg, and water.  Stir to combine and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes, until squash is very tender.

3.  In a blender, purée soup mix, working in batches.  Chill uncovered in refrigerator until cold, at least 2 hours.

4.  To serve, ladle into soup bowls and garnish with a couple tablespoons of yogurt.

Difficulty rating :)

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