Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup and Salad

I made this soup because all I had in the freezer was butternut squash. I didn't quite have enough so what I didn't have in squash I made up for in parsnips. This soup turned out spicy and very yummy.

This recipe came from Gourmet Made Simple, by Gena Knox. Her name is spelled different but she pronounces it just like my name. She is local to middle Georgia as well, I met her at the GA national fair grounds during the mistletoe market. I also made a salad that was inspired by a salad recipe in the cookbook.

What I used:
1 frozen box of butternut squash,
1 bag of parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove elephant garlic (or 3 regular cloves of garlic) chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups of chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
Sour cream or cream cheese for garnish

What I did:
The recipe called for roasting a butternut squash in the oven, but I had frozen squash so I defrosted it in the microwave (took about 5 minutes).

To a large soup pot I added the olive oil, onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes over medium high heat. This cooked for about 4 minutes until just browned. Then added the cayenne pepper and ginger, and cooked for a minute more.

After all the spices are combined I added the squash, parsnips, brown sugar, and stock. I brought this to a boil, then covered and simmered about 12 minutes until parsnips were soft. The squash was already pureed.
I then used my immersion blender and pureed the rest of the soup.

It turned out very good; spicy and creamy. I didn't have any sour cream to top the soup, but I did have cream cheese so I used that. You will need something to balance the spice, so a creamy topping of some kind is very important. The topping just melted in my mouth, yum!

I also made a mixed green salad topped with salted cashews, almonds and pecans (from a Mr. Peanut mixed nuts jar) and shaved Parmesan cheese.
I made a homemade salad dressing of olive oil, red wine vinegar and honey. It was awesome! I am never buying salad dressing again. I used about tablespoon of honey, tablespoon and a half of vinegar and then streamed in the olive oil until I like the consistency of the dressing.
All in all, it was a nice dinner. I think I'll have the soup for lunch
the next day, maybe with a big piece of bread. Can't wait!