Saturday, 5 November 2011

Dinner Last Night : Butternut Squash Soup

I like to cook local 'in season' as much as I can.  In Canada, although I am almost as south as you can get in Canada, most of the winter months in local are root vegetables and squash.  I have no objection to this and have found some wonderful ways to enjoy the crap out of some squash.  You might remember The Spaghetti Squash dinner.

There are millions of different recipes for squash soup and some of them are lovely. Than there are a million of very strange, in some cases perfumey, in some cases oily or flavourless ones....this is one in the first category.  This is inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe from 'Jamie At Home' that I was just too lazy to make properly.  And it was delicious.  I have since made it to his spec and didn't like the soup as much as when I made it my lazy maybe this is a 'Lazy Squash Soup'

  • 3 tbsp olive oil (maybe $0.25 cents)
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced (I used organic so more expensive than most $2.00)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced (maybe $0.50)
  • 1 medium to large size butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (They are in season right now and I think I paid just over $3 for a pretty large organic one)
  • 2-15 fresh sage leaves (free from my garden)
  • 2 200 mL tetra packs of chicken stock ($3.00) or 2 jars of homemade
  • salt and pepper
  • Fresh Parmesan, grated (we are pretty generous with this so I would say we used about $4 worth of a good quality block)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
Total: $12.75/I would go so far as to say that this could be dinner twice and a lunch for a family of four.  Especially if served with toast/bread and/or vegetables. So it could be as little as less than a dollar a serving for a fully organic healthy soup!!

Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, drop in the sage leaves.  Let them fry for around 30 seconds or until they are crispy and have darkened in colour. Then quickly remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon to some paper towel.

In the pan you now have some yummy sage oil.  With the heat still on add the onion and let it start to soften.  Add the garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Let cook until everything is soft and sweet.  Add the squash and the chicken stock.  (If this amount of liquid doesn't completely cover the squash add a cup or two of water but if you need more liquid than that use more stock.  This is completely dependent on the size of your squash) Bring it to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking grate your Parmesan and crumble up sage leaves with your fingers.  Mix them together

After 30 minutes, the squash should be soft (test this by trying to squish a cube against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon)  Whiz it up using a hand blender.  Serve with sagey parm sprinkled on top.

I love this soup and I love the sagey cheese even more.....this soup freezes beautifully and it is almost impossible to not make a huge amount at a time.  If you have littler kids serve over left-over rice

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