Sunday, October 18, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup

At work I handle the production of a newsletter for senior citizens. One of the features we put in is the Recipe Corner. Typically we just grab a recipe from a cookbook I keep at my desk (yes, I really do have a cookbook in my reference section LOL). Lately there's been some chatter over on about butternut squash -- cooked in all different kinds of ways and even made into soup. So I've been wanting to try a soup recipe. And there just so happened to be a soup recipe in my reference cookbook at work. But... it needed some assistance.

I took 3 different recipes for butternut squash soup, plus a few comments from online users of a couple of those recipes. And I created my own concoction.

Pam's Butternut Squash Soup with Ravioli

1 large butternut squash (mine was huge!)
1 large apple (peeled and chopped)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 onion
1 tsp canola oil
1 tablespoon ground ginger
cayenne pepper (I used just a sprinkling, adjust to your taste)
1 quart chicken broth or stock
1 can (12oz?) coconut milk
mini cheese-filled ravioli -- optional
cinnamon -- optional for garnish

Cut butternut squash in half and clean out seeds. Cut into large pieces to fit into a roasting pan. Roast at 350 until tender. Allow to cool, remove peel and cut into chunks. Saute` onions in canola oil until tender (do not brown them like I did). In a large soup pot add squash, chicken broth, onions, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper. Let simmer for 10 minutes or so... then add the diced apple. Let simmer until apple is tender.

At this point it would be ideal if you had an immersion blender. I have one. It's a dream. I love that thing. You just put the blade into our soup and turn it on, and it blends everything up into a smooth and delicious cream soup. It's an amazing tool. But .... I can't friggin' find it!!! Who took my immersion blender? I can find the attachment that fits onto the end, but I can't find the motor part! Seriously. How can you lose an appliance?

So in the absence of an immersion blender, just use a normal blender. Scoop the chunky soup into the blender and whirl it up in small batches until the whole pot is smooth.
Return to the heat and add coconut milk and bring back to simmer. Taste. Figure out what it needs. Salt or pepper? Now is the time when you add the cayenne pepper powder -- go easy if you're scared or be liberal if you're brave. I personally just wanted a tiny touch of "something" in the background, so I went with a light hand here.

Optional -- Add frozen mini cheese-filled ravioli. I couldn't find the mini ones so I used the normal size ravioli, but they really are a bit too big so as I was eating my bowl of soup I had to cut the ravioli in thirds before I could eat them. Big ones will work, but the mini ones would be perfect in this. I call this "optional" because it's not the greatest WLS choice in the carb department. So if you're doing to do this, make sure you're balancing your meal with another source of protein.

Cinnamon -- Ok, another optional thing here. Just before serving sprinkle a tiny bit of cinnamon on top. I haven't decided if I liked it or not, so I'll try it without next time... but it gave another level of flavor to this delicious soup.

Try this! It's wonderful!

I had my surgery on November 13th -- which was 10 days before Thanksgiving. I was still on soft / pureed foods for the big family feast. I had some canned butternut squash soup for my meal. I wish I'd had this recipe back then (minus the pasta, of course).

Mmm.... Enjoy!


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