Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The price of butternut squash (they ain't cheap!)

Not wanting to come to the family Thanksgiving hoo-ha empty handed I decided to make soup. Butternut squash to be exact, especially since it is way easy to make and has a great 'wow factor'.
"You made this?"
"This is great, how did you do it?"
It's really simple, but I act like it takes a lot of skill or something. So I went to the store to pick up a few items such as, well, pretty much everything. The grand total was $50 (!). Who knew chicken stock, celery, onions, carrots and squash could be so expensive? I guess I shouldn't have picked up that six pack of beer (Saint Arnold's Christmas Ale) or that bottle of wine. However, the wine went into the soup so at least that part is justified (and you can guess where the beer went). I got to looking at the receipt and the two squash totaled up to over $13. Man. That was more than I wanted to spend on the soup, let alone just one ingredient. Anyway... here is my recipe (I'm not much on exact measurements so you'll just have to wing it.):

1. In a pot melt a lump of butter and a big glop of olive oil
2. Add in chopped carrots, onion and celery, salt, pepper and little bit of cumin and sautee
hint: buy baby carrots since they are already peeled
hint: break top of celery rib and pull down to remove a lot of the stringy part which will make your soup a lot less fibery/stringy
3. Cut squash in half, remove seeds, smear with olive oil and put on grill or in oven (cook until somewhat squishy and it'll be easier to peel)
4. Once veggies are sweated add some chicken/vegetable stock, a little white wine and/or water to cover them and let simmer
5. Peel squash, cut into chunks and add to simmering pot
6. Let pot simmer until all veggies are soft (check for seasoning)
7. Remove veggies and put in blender and add some of the water from the pot (but not too much - not quite covering the veggies)
8. While blending drop in a chunk of butter and pour in a splash of milk or cream
9. Check for thickness/creaminess/seasoning and your done

One whole butternut squash (half an onion, a handful of carrots and a couple of ribs of celery) makes about two blenders full. For extra consistancy mix the two or three batches into one container once they've all been blended.

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