What can I say...I pretty much loathe squash but my google reader has been filled with nothing BUT squash recipes the last couple months. Some of them would appeal to me in a certain kind of way...the photography was beautiful or the chef talking about the dish appealed to me, but I never really thought about actually cooking any of them myself. Yuck! I would post all of the recipes on my sisters facebook wall or my cousin H, since they both adore squash. Not me. Nope. Definitely not this girl.
And then they went on sale for .48/lb at my local market and my grocery budget was UBER tight that week and I had just read an article about how they last forever, so I thought to myself - Hey! Be brave! Try something new! and so I left the market with 5 locally grown, beautiful to look at (but probably not to eat), squash.
I made the acorn squash ala my mother - with brown sugar, rosemary and butter - and they were ok. My kids and husband love them. I can eat a couple bites, but it's really not something I choose to have in the house. Sort of like tuna fish. Or plain mayo. Or...salmon loaf? Yeah...that's one I'll never make. No matter how many times my husband says his Mom made it and it was good? Nope...never going to happen.
I also bought a butternut and a spaghetti squash. The spaghetti squash is still in my basket - we'll see where we get with that. The butternut squash? Well....I sort of fell in love with this soup. The original inspiration for the soup came from one of my favorite food blogs, Simply Recipes. I knew that I would prefer it a little spicier though - and my pot is small and I thought of a couple other things to maybe give it a little more pizazz and wow...be still my beating heart! I actually love something with squash!
Not only was it delicious, but it made a TON of soup and it was SO inexpensive and SO easy...and healthy! I've been converted. And while I probably won't post a hundred new ways to fall in love with squash, I'm going to make a point to keep re-trying things that I used to hate. Sometimes I discover something great - like this soup - or how wonderful mustard is on a hot dog, or how sauerkraut doesn't make me gag anymore...
Go make this soon...while there's still beautiful butternut squash hanging out at your market.
I promise that you won't regret it.
Butternut Squash Soup (for people who think they hate squash):
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubes.
1 Tbsp butter
Sea Salt (or regular - it's just what I had on hand)
2 small yellow onions, diced small
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
about 1" or 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp yellow curry powder
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 cups chicken stock
water as needed (I ended up using 2 cups)
lime wedges (DO NOT SKIP THIS PART!!! It totally makes the dish - lightens it up, whatever...I cut a lime into 16 half-wedges and 1 was enough for a cup of soup.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Toss squash with olive oil and put in shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and roast 15 mn, stirring/turning/tossing halfway through.
Meanwhile, melt butter in large dutch oven. Add onion and cook until translucent - about 4-5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic, cook about 1 mn or until it releases it's fragrance - add the curry, cumin and mustard powder and stir constantly, letting it toast for just a bit - maybe 30 seconds to a minute. You'll be able to smell the change.
Add the chicken stock and make sure you scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan - add the roasted squash and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer about 20-30 mn or until the squash is tender.
Get out your immersion blender (or you can also put it in a regular blender or food processor) and puree the whole mess of it until it's smooth. At this point it's up to you to determine how thick you want your soup. I don't like soup that reminds me of baby food...or baby poo for that matter. Ishy.
I ended up using 2 cups of water and that was exactly perfect. Not too thin, not too thick.
Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream (can also use plain yogurt), a sprinkle of cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Serve with pita bread or whatever else your kids will try it with (mine like saltines and garlic bread!)
p.s. I feel like I must've used black pepper in here somewhere, but I can't think of where? Maybe I didn't...Hmmm....maybe I should make it again and find out!