Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup and Argentina

The first time I can remember eating butternut squash was in Argentina. We never had it growing up and it was NOT served in my college cafeteria. At the time I had taken a semester abroad in college and was living and working in a home for abandoned children in the middle of rural Argentina with the Sisters of the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara, or the Servidoras. Upon eating my first bite of the squash I remember thinking, "Wow, this is so sweet" and it was, compared to everything else I was eating: pasta covered with oil, potatoes covered with salt and bread.

Each year when winter squash goes on sale for $0.50 a pound I buy several pounds of this delicious vegetable and when the mood hits me I turn it into soup. The mood stuck this Sunday when our house was 64 degrees, but I wasn't ready to give in to turning on the heat. Instead I decided to warm the house by making a triple batch of Butternut squash soup. It took all afternoon, but now I have 10 bowls of soup in my freezer ready for the cold days to come when I want to be reminded of the year I skipped winter by heading south of the hemisphere.

Butternut Squash Soup:

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cut a 2-2 1/2 lb. butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seed, set them aside for roasting.
3. Place squash halves down on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray. Bake for 30 minutes, turn over and bake for 30 minutes more.
4. Remove squash from oven and let cool.
5. While the squash is cooling, saute one medium white onion (about 1 c.) and 1 T. of fresh grated ginger in 1 T. of butter.
6. Once the onion is transparent add 3 c. of chicken broth (I cheat and use the bullion cubes) and let simmer.
7. While the broth simmers scoop out the squash from it skins.
8. Add the squash to the broth and turn off the heat.
9. Place the chunky mixture into a blender  and puree until smooth. You will need to break it up into two batches for blending.
10. From here you can either put the soup back on the stove and heat it until it is warm enough to eat, or you can place servings in freezer containers and save them for later, we did both.

Bean wanted her bowl to be the featured bowl for the blog. She took one
bite and decided she'd rather have chicken nuggets, oh well, more for me!
For the seeds, rinse off all of slimy guts and pat them dry on a clean towel. Then put 1 T. of oil on a bar pan and coat the seeds with the oil. Next sprinkle the seeds with garlic powder and seasoning salt. Finally, roast them for 45 minutes turning them every 15 minutes.

Too finish off the meal I made grilled cheese on multi-grain french baguettes.
By the time I was all done it was 67 degrees in the house, which I could deal with.


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