Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside - Butternut Squash Soup

In case you haven't noticed, it's cold outside. And even though I have a ton of things to share, I really want to share this soup. It's simple, hearty, and super flavorful. And it's from Alton Brown...and you know there's nothing wrong with that. ALLEZ CUISINE BITCHES!

This soup called for the squash to be roasted. So I took two whole butternut squash, lopped them in half and then brushed them with a mixture of melted butter and olive oil. Before I shoved them into a 400 degree oven, I sprinkled them with kosher salt and a couple of hearty grinds of black pepper. The recipe says to use white pepper, I guess to impart a milder pepper flavor, and so that there won't be any black fleck in the soup. I didn't have white pepper. And I don't mind a sharper flavor and black flecks. I am an equal opportunity eater.

I let these roast for 35-40 minutes until they got nice and tender. All that roasty, toasty, golden squash goodness...the smell was just incredible. Sweet, but at the same time nutty and smoky. I scooped out the flesh with a big spoon....

And combined the flesh with 3 cups of chicken stock. Yes, I used the boxed kind...and it's organic.

My next additions were fresh ginger, which I used a microplane to grate (if you don't have one of these amazing graters, just use the small, puckered side of a box grater):

And some honey. I used an amazing alfalfa honey that I had gotten on vacation in the Amish country, but at any other time, I would just use whatever honey was in the house. You could also use brown sugar...or even maple syrup...or MOLASSES. I'm sure that would lend a really earthy flavor.

I let everything come to a gentle boil, then turned the heat down to low; simmering is good for the soul.

Bubble, bubble, toil and.....whoops. Got carried away. Look, I was doing this at like, 11 o'clock at night! I was craving soup and a little stir crazy.

So after a 15 minute simmer, I made like Teddy Roosevelt: I got out a big stick.

A stick blender that is!

My mom hadn't used this thing in I had to do some scrubbing and de-gross-ifying to make it usable. If you don't have a stick blender, just blend it in small batches in a regular blender. I like mine very smooth. I added a little nutmeg...and 4 ounce of heavy cream. No pics of that because I didn't want to be judged. :-/

I poured hot water in a bowl to warm it up, dumped the H2O out, and poured my sweet, sweet bounty in.

Look at it.

While you're looking, I was tasting. Sweet, but not overly so. A tiny bit of bite from the pepper, and so warming to my soul.

Make this soup, and keep yourself from freezing to death. Or relieve hunger, either choice works!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

100 Followers/Atomic Wings Challenge

Just wanted to take some time out to say....


Thank you, thank you for following in my food adventures, and keep reading! It'll only get better.

In honor of this occasion, I've pledged to the the Quaker Steak & Lube Atomic Wings (Pittsburgh) Challenge that Adam Richman did in the 3rd ep of Man vs. Food.

I'm a foolish, foolish girl.

See you guys when I return!