Monday, November 26, 2007

Butternut Squash Soup, the Easy Way

A friend of mine in Ithaca gave me this recipe. Hopefully, he doesn't mind me sharing it with you, the blog-reading public. Scale this up as needed. I make one of these per two people, and it's become a Thanksgiving staple.

12oz. (1 block) frozen cooked winter squash
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. chicken broth
3 T. butter
pumpkin pie spice

Put the squash, cream, broth, and butter in a saucepan, and heat slowly. Do not allow it to come to a boil, or the cream will curdle. As it cooks, the mixture will thicken. Add milk to get the desired texture, roughly that of cream. Season to taste, typically a small pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and maybe 1/4 t. of the pie spice.


Julie said...

Wooooooooooooot! This looks very fabulous and luxurious and yummy! I have no milk. How odd to have cream, but no milk. Does this soup bother your lactose intolerance-ness?

Mike Marsh said...

I take a Lactaid pill before eating it. Cooking helps, as well. It seems to convert at least some of the lactose into simpler sugars.

One side benefit of making this is that I now have a fair amount of milk left over, so I have little choice but to make macaroni and cheese. I picked up some sharp cheddar and provolone, and I also have a considerable amount of butter -- certainly more than enough for a roux.

Julie said...

Cool! I was wondering if cooking it affected its ... um ... irritability. I totally have mac n' cheese envy now! I've still never made homemade mac 'n' cheese. I need to remedy that soon! In the meantime, I've been sick with some sort of cold, and as I do have a butternut squash, I'm going to doctor up a version of your soup sometime today. As soon as I wake up again, in fact ...

Mike Marsh said...

Mac and cheese is easy. You make a roux, add milk, and when the cream sauce is ready, you add a lot of cheese. Stir in the pasta, and you're done! If you're feeling ambitious, you can bake it, or add some steamed or blanched broccoli, maybe some sliced kielbasa, or whatever. If you use parmigiano instead of cheddar, then you've basically got an alfredo sauce. If you just make the sauce, and add some hot peppers (maybe a couple sliced-up jalapenos and a chipotle or two), you've got queso dip.

Basically, once you've got the hang of the cheese sauce, you have a powerful and dangerous tool at your disposal.

Feel better soon!

Julie said...

I'm less comfy with the mac 'n' cheese carb and calorie count than anything else. =\ I think I'll make it a goal reward. =) I'm due for my annual in March, and I'm hoping to be much closer to a healthy weight by then. Woot!

I'm awake, and I'm going to roast my squash for soup. I think I'll roast the squash, then puree it in my food processor, then add it back to the pot and add all the stuffs to it. I've already thawed out the frozen chicken stock I had. I'm looking forward to this! I'll report back!

Julie said...

HOLY GOOD!!! It was like lunch and dessert, all at once. A part of me wanted to freeze some with a stick in it to make soup pops. I opted out of the pie spice and kept it simple with just salt and pepper. I'm not feeling herby today; otherwise, I might have added rosemary. I didn't have milk, so I thinned it out with a little more chicken stock. I had trouble not eating the roasted squash before pureeing it. I used a variation on this recipe for the roasted squash, although one really doesn't need a recipe. Still ... YUM!

Mike Marsh said...

I think this dish just about epitomizes the phrase "comfort food." The pumpkin pie spices give it an extra earthiness. Of course, if you're going to roast fresh winter squash, you could always pull out the stops and grind the whole spices, rather than using a powdered blend. It's cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. I might go with cloves, as well.

For the mac 'n' cheese, you could use skim milk and not go nuts with the cheese. That'll cut down on the calories from fat, at least. I know Barilla has whole-grain pastas, which are a better use of carbs than the bleached stuff, and generally have a chewier texture. I suppose it also helps if you treat it as a side dish, rather than my typical only-dish.

Julie said...

I ate the last of the soup today for dinner. It was definitely comforting. =)

I know, I know, I could make the mac 'n' cheese for a side, but I'd be like you and want it for my entree. I mean ... it's mac 'n' cheese!

I chose you for a food meme on my blog. Don't feel obligated, but I wanted to choose you. Like Pikachu!