Well, it’s the end of September, I’m officially in my late twenties, and I haven’t blogged since June. Many changes have come since then, the biggest of which is the news that I’m moving out the country in June 2016 to serve with the U.S. Peace Corps.
So, that’s my excuse. If you’d like to follow that journey, visit lizlundblad.com. I figure I’ll keep this blog strictly food related and will probably use my name site exclusively during my service.
My service necessitated my moving back in with my parents until I leave. Pros and cons, but mostly pros because I think I have the best parents in the world.
Another pro, my parents belong to a local CSA. That’s Community Supported Agriculture, which basically means we buy a share of local farmers’ produce/meats/food stuffs. I get to explore all sorts of weird hippie vegetables that I normally wouldn’t choose in the grocery store. Kohlrabi, for example, looks like a Pokémon character.
Since we’re getting into fall, we’ve seen a lot more squash in our weekly CSA bag. I vaguely remember eating roasted acorn squash growing up and not liking it. That sure has changed as an adult. I’m a big fan of the squash. All varieties, but I hold a particular soft spot for butternut squash.
I make butternut squash risotto a lot, but this soup was a new venture for me. Have I mentioned I like being back in my parents’ kitchen? Well, I do. They have an immersion blender. Life is complete…at least when it comes to puréed soups.
This whole thing started with veggie stock. With all the fresh produce from the CSA, we’ve been storing all sorts of veggie trimmings in a big freezer bag. It got to the point where stock needed to be made.
I threw fennel fronds, broccoli stems, leek tops, onion, carrot and celery into a big stock pot and added 12 cups of water. Brought the whole thing to a boil, reduced the heat, and let that baby simmer away for 90 minutes or so. The color was super light, so I tossed in about 1 tsp. turmeric for color and a hint of smokiness. Like always, I criminally under-salted (read: I didn’t add any salt) the stock. With all the health concerns/restrictions out there, I just think people should salt to their own taste/dietary guidelines. Plus I hate when things are too salty.
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, makes 10 cups
1 butternut squash (2-3 lbs.), peeled, seeded & cut into chunks
6 cups vegetable stock
2 small baking potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold), peeled & cut into chunks
2 small yellow or white onions, roughly diced
2 small cloves garlic, grated
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup heavy cream (optional or to taste)
salt & pepper to taste
- In large soup or stock pot, melt together butter and oil. Add the onions and cook until lightly browned over medium to medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the squash, potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until vegetables are fork tender, about 25-30 minutes.
- When vegetables are done, blend the soup together using an immersion blender. Alternatively, puree the soup in a standing blender in small batches until smooth. (**Remember, hot liquids expand. Don’t overfill your blender!!**)
- If using the blender method, return soup to pot. Over low heat, stir in the one cup of heavy cream if using. Taste and season to your liking. Serve with a nice rustic bread and steamed kale, to cut the decadence of the soup.