Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thank You for the Delicious Dinner, Mommy

How many parents wish their kids would say anything like the title of this post? Can you imagine your kids saying it unprompted? Make the soup we had tonight and your kids just might.

Last week our CSA gave us a butternut squash. All I could think was soup soup soup. Butternut squash soup... hmm... I had butternut squash soup at an Italian restaurant years ago and fell in love with it. Thanks to Stephanie O'Dea at A Year of Slow Cooking, I made butternut squash soup at home. In case you don't want to click to the other blog, here's the recipe straight from the source.

Crock-Pot Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
1 butternut squash
2 T olive oil
2 small medium onions, or 2 T onion flakes
4 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
2 small apples, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Use at least a 5 quart crockpot for this soup.

Cut the squash in half long ways. This is terribly hard to do. If you microwave the entire squash for 2 to 5 minutes on high, the skin will soften, but you will still need to use a pretty powerful knife. If you can find already peeled and cubed butternut squash use that. (JEN NOTE: 5 minutes in the nuker made this job REALLY easy with my very large chef knife.)

I couldn't believe how difficult it was for me to cut the squash. My knife got stuck. (JEN NOTE: REALLY - Just stick the squash in your microwave. You'll be glad)

Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp. Brush olive oil on the inside of the squash and roast it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until you can peel the skin away from the flesh. (JEN NOTE: My regular peeler worked fine for this!)

Plug in your crockpot and turn to high. Add the broth, and the onion and apple. Stir in the spices. Cover to let heat.

When the squash has finished roasting, add it to the pot. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for about 4.

Blend in small batches with a stand blender, or carefully blend with an immersible wand. (JEN NOTE: Make sure you have a pot into which you can transfer blended soup!)


The reviews of this soup were unanimous. Aaron loved it. Caleb asked for seconds. Ellie finished what I gave her minus one small spoonful because she was distracted by garlic bread (what can I say? she is my daughter.) My kitchen smelled like warm apple cider and "autumn" for most of the day. I actually have leftovers (*whew*) and am totally willing to butcher another butternut squash to make more of this fantastic soup. If you think you don't like squash, you need to try this soup.

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