A favorite soup around here is butternut squash soup. While digging through my back issues of Cook’s Illustrated (Sept / Oct 2011), I came across one that had a recipe for it, so I just couldn’t resist giving it a try.
- 2.5 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2″ chunks
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 1 Leek, white and light green parts only. Quartered lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 cups Veggie Broth
- 1-2 C Water
- 1 Tbs Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Pinch Cayenne Pepper
- Sour Cream
Place the squash in a bowl, cover, and microwave until a paring knife easily slides through, 14-18 minutes. Stir halfway through. Transfer the squash to a colander set in a bowl, drain for 5 minutes and reserve the liquid. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add squash, leek, and 1 tsp salt, cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash starts to break down and brown fond forms in the bottom of the pot, about 10-13 minutes. Add 2 cups of broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen and dissolve the fond. Add the 2 remaining cups of broth, the reserved squash liquid, 1 cup of water, thyme, bay leaf, and cayenne. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the leeks are tender, 6-7 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf.
Using a stick blender puree the soup until smooth. Bring back to a simmer. Add water to create desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fried leeks (see below).
- 1 leek, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
- 2 Tbs AP Flour
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4 C Olive Oil
Toss leeks, flour, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a bowl. Heat oil in a skillet until shimmering. Add half the leeks and fry stirring often until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with the other half of the leeks.
A week ago I was looking through the fridge seeing what needed to get used up. I had some butternut squash that I never got around to roasting. I then looked in Rice & Risotto: a collection of over 100 essential recipes and found one that called for squash. Sounded like a plan to me. (The copy that I have has a different cover, but the ISBN number is the same). I started with this cookbook because Lindsay has been requesting more rice and veggies in our meals. Guess not everyone prefers protein and starch heavy farm meals. *shrug*
- 1.5 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 4 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 Tbs dried Basil
- 1 Tbs dried Oregano
- 1 Tbs Butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Onions
- 2 cups Arborio Rice
- 3/4 C dry White Wine
- 5 C Veggie stock
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the squash into a roasting pan. Mix 1 Tbs of oil and the honey together and pour over the squash. Mix until everything is coated. Put the squash into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until tender.
Heat the veggie stock in a pot until simmering. In a small bowl, mix the basil, oregano, and 2 Tbs of oil together and set aside. Heat the butter and remaining oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onions and cook for 8 minutes, or until soft and golden. Stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the rice in the oil mixture. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat slightly. Once the wine is mostly absorbed, add enough stock to cover the rice and cook over medium-low heat. Here the recipe calls for stirring constantly, but I find that everything comes out just fine if you thoroughly stir it a couple of times a minutes. Again add enough stock to cover the rice when the first batch is almost completely absorbed. Repeat until you have used up the stock. About 20 minutes. After you have added all of the stock and the risotto is still a little bit soupy, add the herb oil and squash. Gently, but thoroughly mix everything together. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the rice is creamy and cooked, but still retaining a little bite in the center. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
The reason you want to heat the veggie stock up is so when you add it to the cooking risotto, you don’t dramatically drop the temperature and cause the cooking time to skyrocket.