Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

In which I learn to like squash

Posted: October 1st, 2008 | Author: johanna | Filed under: Johanna | No Comments »

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t actually like butternut squash. I think it’s disconcerting when a vegetable’s most commonly-served state is puree. Puree sweetened with brown sugar and maple syrup, no less. Bleh. I’m all for mashed potato, mashed turnip, any other mashed vegetable you offer me, as long as you make sure there’s plenty of salt and pepper, and NO BROWN SUGAR!!! I LOVE brown sugar, except in vegetable applications.
I stand by this.

I definitely pushed my squash puree around on my plate at Thanksgiving and Christmas the entire time I was growing up. Around my senior year of high school, I learned that I could put gravy on it, mix it in with my mashed potatoes, and almost convince myself it wasn’t there. But I just. didn’t. like it.
About 5 months ago, I ventured into my local Hale and Hearty Soup, and had their butternut squash soup. It was recommended to me by someone behind me in line. It wasn’t bad, although I remember it needing a lot of pepper and salt. Nary a hint of brown sugar or maple syrup. Encouraging.

Since then, I’d been thinking about how that soup needed some cumin. I think everything needs cumin. I love cumin.
I’ve been adding cumin, garam masala, and curry powder to things lately… and thinking about adding them to other things. Witness, my meatloaf. So today, I decided to buy a butternut squash, and on a whim, bought some turnips. I had promised Jesse an apple pie, so I got the apples and flour for that as well.

I started out by halving and roasting the butternut squash, and cutting the turnips into chunks. I brushed them with curry butter…. 3 tbs butter and some curry, cumin, and garam as listed above. To taste, obviously. I brushed the veggies, sprinkled them with salt, and put them in to roast for 40 minutes at 425.

When they came out, I let them cool.

When I started making the soup, I cut up a carrot, a stalk and a half of celery, and half an onion. I cooked them until they softened in butter and olive oil (about a tablespoon of each). I added more of the seasonings listed above, and of course, salt. Then, I added the soft smushy veggies, which I cut up into chunks. Then, I added a lot of chicken stock, and let it simmer. I re-seasoned, and eventually, I pureed. (In retrospect, this is all reminiscent of the roasted tomato soup I made a while ago.) Then, I added a little coconut milk, and re-seasoned.

As you can see, yet again, nary a hint of brown sugar and maple syrup.

This is honestly, delicious. I’m really proud of it.
If seasoned differently, it could make a respectable sauce for a veggie lasagna – It could go over rice with some chicken and slake your curry craving. Basically, it’s versatile. And it’s happy.

Please undertake this. The roasting doesn’t take too long, and you could definitely do the majority of the soup prep during the roasting. Try this soup. You will like it. I hope.

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