18 September 2014

Butternut Squash Soup

I've been having some fun with my cookbooks this month. I have been trying a lot of new recipes and using them for inspiration. I have been trying to make the best of a dysfunctional oven and so I have been spending some quality time with my stovetop. Most of my experiments have been successful with everyone enjoying them...a couple have only been enjoyed by the adults (like the Pioneer Woman's leek and potato pizza for some reason the kids took offence to this being called pizza - but I really liked it!)

One of the favourites this week was Butternut Squash soup. I was inspired with the idea after looking at "My Father's Daughter" by Gwyneth Paltrow but her recipe didn't scream out fall to me and I wanted something that did... so I took the idea of Butternut Squash soup and my general knowledge of soup making and created my own super easy and super yummy recipe. Everybody loved it and wanted more...

I started with a Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter in an enamelled cast iron pot over Medium high heat. I added 1 diced onion and two minced cloves of garlic. Stirred them around a bit just to sweat them a little. Then I added 1 diced carrot, 1 diced celery stalk and 1 diced granny smith apple (nothing says autumn to me like a crisp apple). 

I let these cook up for a minute or two - not letting anything brown (at least not very much). I added some salt and pepper and 1 large butternut squash - peeled, seeds removed and diced. I let these cook for another couple of minutes in the pot and then added a litre of chicken stock (I used store bought this time - I like the organic brand "Imagine" but you could use whatever you had on hand) and about two cups of water - just to make sure the squash was covered. 

The soup was brought to a boil and then simmered for 15 to 20 minutes. Just until the squash was tender. 

When all the veg were tender - I pureed the soup in a blender in three batches. Then just checked the seasoning and served. The soup is very flavourful and really creamy. It really tasted as if there was added cream...but their wasn't...I promise. 

I had a couple of leftover baked potatoes in the fridge from the night before so just for fun I thought I would make some potato croutons. 

I put about two Tbsp of butter in a cast iron pan and tossed in the potatoes that I had diced. I let them develop some colour on the bottom before flipping them over. When they were nearly ready I added some salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper. 

The potatoes added a nice crispiness to the soup but had mixed results at my table. I heard everything from..."next time leave the potatoes out they distracted from the creaminess of the soup" to "the potatoes made it so much better". Personally, I could have it either way. The potatoes added a little more substance to the soup and I did like the contrast of textures.

Overall, the soup provided a pretty easy, satisfying meal for my family of six plus grandma and I will definitely be making this again.

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