Squash is one of those foods that I detested until...well until I actually tried it. It got stuck in my head from who knows when....childhood, perhaps infancy that I didn't like it and stayed there for 30 years. Kind of like pumpkin pie which, hey guess what? I love! Just found that one out two days ago. Who knew it could be so sweet, so creamy, so cinnamony so...I think I need to make pie.
Plus, squash make wonderfully co-operative photography subjects
Discoveries like this have been happening to me a lot lately.
Like meat. For years I've been a quasi-vegetarian, just because I didn't much care for meat. Now all of a sudden I'm all over it, which comes at a remarkably good time since I've been promoted to head chef here in the house and since I'm feeding an old school Newfie male (no meat? no potatoes? Obviously not a "real" meal), a man who has, in the past, looked upon one of my meat-free culinary creations, well knowing I've spent the day in the kitchen and just got off the phone with the hubby and told him how proud I am and how I can't wait for him to try it out - and said, "well I guess I can make some macaroni and cheese whiz for me and SeaBass."
These days it's a little different, just last week banned me from bacon. He begged me to sabbatical from pork. A year ago I couldn't even stand the smell of bacon frying.
Have I mentioned that I've been feeling the urge to participate in the ritualized pig slaughtering that I saw Anthony Bourdain take part in while in Portugal?
No, I didn't mention it? Hm, right! I was going to keep quiet about that as I thought it might scare anyone reading this and might cause some (increased) worry for my relative sanity amongst family and friends. I have mentioned my lack of a filter for my brain though.
Anyhoo....let's just forget I mentioned the whole slaughter thing (while visions of piggies dance in my head) and get back to the butternut squash soup.
My brother's wife Alexandra (happy almost first anniversary guys!) introduced my family to this soup a couple of years ago. It took just one taste for it to be added to the top of the traditional fall recipe list.
1/4 cup unsalted butter 1 large onion roughly chopped 2 leeks (white parts) roughly chopped 1 large potato peeled and diced 1 medium butternut squash peeled and diced 3 cups of chicken stock whipping cream pinch of nutmeg pinch of cayenne pepper salt and pepper basil (optional) toasted pine nuts or roasted squash or pumpkin seeds (or both)
melt your butter in a large saucepan. Add your onion and leeks and cook until softened Add potato and squash. Stir in chicken stock. Add in nutmeg, cayenne, season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer covered until everything is softened (about 20-30 minutes). Use a hand blender/food processor/whatever you have to smooth out the soup. (I don't blend too heavily, I like to leave the soup rustic with some chunks in it - do what you like.) Stir in enough whipping cream to reach a consistency you're happy with. Re-season if necessary. Add in a few basil leaves. (The basil really lifts the flavour of the soup and gives it a hint of real garden freshness. I really miss it if I don't have it.) Serve with pine nuts/squash seeds as a garnish.
p.s. I love piggies. It's not my fault that they're so damned tasty!