Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Crafty Wrap-Up: Butternut Squash Soup

Is cooking a craft? Absolutely, undeniably, it is. Although my husband makes dinner most every night (lucky me), I'm cooking more and more now that we have two kids. I've just started making baby food for our 6-month old daughter, and what a cost savings for minimal effort!! Here's a recipe I concocted last weekend for butternut squash soup that will please the whole family--kids included.


(serves 4, plus leftovers for freezing)

3-lb butternut squash
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
Course sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp honey
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tsp ground ginger
8 oz heavy cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1-2 tbsp lemon juice, to taste

1) Peel and seed the squash, chop into 1 or 2" cubes. Coarsely chop the onion.
2) Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the chopped onion, season with salt. Cook until onion is softened, about 5-7 minutes. 
3) Add squash, broth and a few cups of water (enough to cover ingredients). Season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer until squash is tender (about 20 minutes).
4) Stir in the remaining ingredients: nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, cream and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Return to a low simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
5) Puree using a blender or a food processor, transferring the soup to a clean container as you work. Season with salt, white pepper and lemon juice. You may want to adjust the soup's consistency with either water or cream, if needed

Pair this soup with crescent rolls, crusty french bread or a side of cheddar cheese and crackers. Perfect for a cozy winter's afternoon. Looking to add a little "heat" to the recipe? Try adding crushed peppercorns. My husband loved it!

Not a fan of peeling/chopping? Bake the squash instead! Cut the squash in half, brush the it with a little butter and season with salt and pepper. Lay it on a sheet pan, peel side down. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 30-35 minutes. The insides will be soft enough to just scoop out and you can continue on with the recipe.

My baby girl really loves this soup, even with the onion and peppercorns. Don't be afraid to try more complex flavors with your kids, they might surprise you!