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Archive for the ‘winter squash’ Category

i made this for my mom tonight, to go with a rack of lamb and braised spinach [i’ll post tomorrow…]. i served it chilled with creme fraiche and some chopped parsley. chives would have been better, but i had none.

saute one small shallot in a couple tablespoons of olive oil or butter. add a handful of dried cherries, 1 t of madras curry, and 1/2 t paprika. stir until spices become aromatic. add i medium- sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed, 1 can of light coconut milk, and enough vegetable stock [or water or  chicken stock] to cover squash. simmer until squash is tender.

when the squash is cooked, the cherries will be reconstituted. add about 1 to 2 T of honey, let cool, then puree contents in a food processor until smooth. i reserved a little of the liquid, then added the puree back in to preserve some texture. whisk in about 1/2 c of creme fraiche [buttermilk or plain yogurt would also work], salt, and pepper. serve chilled with creme fraiche and chives or parsley as a garnish. if you want to serve it hot, warm it slowly without letting it boil or the dairy may curdle.

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i have turkey stock on the back burner that i have been adding to and using as i need it, just like grandma. it makes the house smell great, and reminds me of her. i love simple soups that are just one single vegetable and stock. so easy and so comforting, especially in the winter. when you have stock available just bubbling away, you can just make a small pan, a couple bowls worth, for yourself.

i was alone this afternoon, and made a small pan of butternut squash soup for a late lunch. it was great to just be able to ladle fresh, hot, homemade stock out of the big pot.

i peeled and cut into chunks about one third of a butternut squash, i had it left over from something else. in a small pan i heated some olive oil and added the squash, two cloves of garlic, and a little dried thyme.

when the squash and garlic were starting to take on a bit of color, i added a few ladles from the stockpot through a strainer to just cover the squash.

when the squash and garlic were quite soft, i used a hand blender to puree, then added a little half and half, grating of fresh nutmeg, salt, and pepper. often when i make this kind of simple vegetable soup, i also add some chile pepper flakes. i have a sea salt grinder that is full of coarse sea salt and red chile flakes that i use to season food at the table; my daughter does not always like the spicy flavors.

i served it with a pistou, as i often do with soups. it’s similar to pesto, but without nuts or cheese. it’s great with white bean soups as well as winter squash soups. to make the pistou, chop italian flat- leaf parsley, coarse sea salt, and a fresh garlic clove on a cutting board. when it’s quite fine, add some olive oil and continue to chop until it’s nearly a paste. you can do this in a food processor or blender if you like, as you do pesto, but i like the inconsistent texture that chopping it on the board creates.

serve the pistou in, or beside the soup. i suggest serving it on the side for guests, as the raw garlic can be borderline offensive for those not in love with it’s sting.

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