I know, I promised Butternut Squash Soup days ago. And then I had the nerve to write about picking wild grapes and knitting instead 😉 That very night, I got home from work and immediately set to work making some pretty darn awesome soup (which is now all gone).
This is one of my favorite soups, and it’s SO easy to make. Next year, if I manage to buy myself a pressure canner, I’m hoping to put some up so I can have it year round. I love soup – all the time – but my apartment isn’t air conditioned, so I don’t cook much during the summer. I’m glad I did it on Monday evening, because last night was rough. I had my Tuesday class (Outils informatiques pour langagiers) and it was just as exciting and riveting as last week’s class 😉 (Plus, for some reason, when school starts, I sleep like crap on Monday nights and end up exhausted for class on Tuesday!) We did get our group assignments though, and I’m paired up with an older gentleman who looks like he takes things seriously, so I’m not too put out about it. I had to laugh at the article we’re analyzing though – it’s all about yarnbombing! I was the only person in the class (including the teacher) who actually knew what yarnbombing was. I thought it was pretty awesome 🙂
Anyway, on to the soup. I make mine a bit spicy, but you can do it without the spices if you like, and it will still taste awesome. The cream is also optional (I don’t actually use it myself, because I prefer my soups light most of the time). This is the time of year for squash, so go nuts. MIx in an acorn squash or a pepper squash, or even some zucchini or summer squash! I’ve never tried using spaghetti squash though, so proceed at your own risk with that one.
Butternut Squash Soup
2 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into large chunks
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 quart of chicken stock (I use the low-sodium store-bought stuff, because I can’t can my own yet)
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pint heavy cream (35%) – optional
1 19-oz can peaches and cream corn
(Note: I don’t add salt to my soups while they’re cooking, because I don’t like salty food. This way, everyone can salt to their own taste after it’s served).
In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients except cream and corn, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 hour until squash is tender. If using cream, reduce heat to low and add to soup. With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Add corn and heat through. Serve with a sprig of cilantro or parsley.
This stuff is delicious, and the spice makes it quite satisfying with nothing more than a piece of toast or a small sandwich. My kids devoured it, and then asked for seconds (which is why there’s none left… apparently they really like this stuff). You can use the same proportions to make carrot soup. I use a 5-lb bag of carrots and a few onions, change the spices up – add a bit of nutmeg and cumin, or whatever your heart desires. With a full 5 lbs though, I might increase the stock to 2 quarts and up the spices accordingly.
Tonight, we’re meant to be going to my friend Sue’s house to divest her crabapple tree of its riches. The tree didn’t lose half its blossoms in the spring storms like it normally does, so it’s actually bowed down by the weight of the fruit this year! So I may be learning to make crabapple jelly (and I’m thinking some whole spiced crabapples too) this weekend. I’ve never made jelly before, so this should be an experience! I’ve been knitting on Totoro, but I haven’t bothered taking any pictures because he just looks like a slightly larger grey bag than the last picture I took. I’m hoping to finish the 54 hat this week, so maybe I’ll have pictures of that in my next post!