In an earlier post, “Did I Mention The Bisque?”, I ranted about the oddball combinations of ingredients that some cooks attempt throw together in soups, like the peanut butter pumpkin bisque that I’d seen on a lunch menu earlier that day. Yipes, I can’t imaging eating that. But I think I’d like to finger paint with it.
The same day I wrote that post, I became inspired to make squash soup. There’s a chill in the air here in New England and it is definitely soup weather. So I stopped at the store on my way home from work and bought a big buttercup squash. These things look like big, dark green pumpkins and their starchy texture make them an excellent choice for pureeing in a soup. The one I bought weighted about 8 pounds and was about the size of a soccer ball.
Normally, I’d boil my squash for a soup. But I recently saw an episode of Good Eats in which Alton Brown made squash and ginger soup and he roasted his squash in the oven to add flavor and keep the moisture content lower. So, I tried his method. Now, these things are not easy to cut. Imagine trying to run your knife through a shelacked basketball. I used my trusty cleaver, placed the blade in the middle of the squash and used a rolling pin to tap the cleaver through the squash. It really worked well and I’m sure it saved me from severing a finger. I cut the squash into quarters with this method and scooped out the seeds. I brushed each quarter with olive oil, put a pat of butter in the center of each one and sprinkled them with sally and peppy. They went into a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes, until they were soft.
1 large buttercup squash
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup half & half
1 medium onion
1 large chopped garlic clove
2 tbps finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
a dash of cayenne, if you like the spice
Chop the onion and saute in a soup pot over medium heat in olive oil. When the onion becomes translucent, add the garlic and 1 1/2 tbsp of the ginger and saute until the onion and garlic begin to brown. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to the boil. Scoop the flesh out of the squash and add it to the pot and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Then add the remaining ginger and spice the soup accordingly. Notice I did not put “salt & pepper to taste” here…I trust you to add whatever spices you like. Then, use your handy-dandy immersion blender to puree the soup. You could also do this in a traditional blender or food processor if you don’t have an immersion blender. Once the soup is pureed, add the half & half and the honey and serve with crusty bread. I served mine with jalapeno corn muffins. This soup takes the chill right out of your bones.