09 February 2010

Recipe of the Week: Butternut Squash Soup + a bonus at the end

Growing up in East Texas, squash meant a yellow or green vegetable eaten during summer months; given away by local gardeners so it didn't go to waste; usually sauteed in butter with an onion. I really enjoy squash.

Since I don't love meat, I add squash to things like fajitas. That way, Husby eats meat with some veggies, and I eat squash with veggies. It works out nicely.

Unfortunately for summer squash, I was introduced to winter squash. And it moved up to the top of my most favorite vegetables list. (Yes, I have one.) Butternut squash has stolen my heart--in the most loved vegetable world, at least.

Last week, I made--and had--butternut squash soup for the first time. I invited my friend, Hannah, over for dinner. We banished Husby to the upstairs to play his video game, which he just hated. She brought some awesome Messina Hof wine, and we got to cooking.

Most of my recipes these days come from Real Simple Easy Delicious Meals. It should be made known that these recipes are, in face, easy and delicious. Of course, I made modifications to this recipe. The original recipe calls for pumpkin seeds on top of each bowl of soup, but I bought the wrong kind of pumpkin seeds. It's shocking, but sometimes ingredients are difficult to find in a small city.

Serves 4-6

4 leeks (white & green parts chopped)
1 3-pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt & black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons brown sugar

1. Place the leeks, squash, bay leaf, chicken broth, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and rosemary into Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes.

2. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender (or use a handheld immersion blender.) Add brown sugar and stir.

3. Divide the soup among bowls. Serve with sliced baguette.

Instead of baguette, Hannah and I made toasts with pears, honey and cheese. They were amazing. Here you go:

1 baguette
Olive oil
2 red pears, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice baguette into 3/4 inch pieces. Drizzle with olive oil and place in preheated oven. Remove when the bottom side is golden brown. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in saute pan over medium heat. Add pears. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Place pears on toasts. Drizzle with honey. Top with thinly sliced cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted.

Y'all, this meal was wonderful. Husby loved his hand-delivered meal with a glass of wine while playing a video game. And Hannah and I had a delightful evening catching up on our girl talk. I don't think you'd be disappointed, either.

Happy Birthday to BFF Marieke! Te iubesc, draga sora! You're my favorite. (Wink, wink.)


Pleasant Drive said...

I have several things to say. Number one, I used to love Real Simple recipes for their ease. But, I agree, sometimes the ingredients are a bit obscure. I felt more posh and less redneck making those meals. Number two, your eyes in your wedding pics. Oh. my. word. Gorgeous. They look so sapphire blue. Hot. Hot. Hot. Number three, I heard the rummage sale was much like Mistletoe has become. A lot of hype and crowd for not so much wonderful stuff. Hope you're having a good week!

-M said...

Um, I hate squash so if you're going to post recipes can you please make them something that I'm going to eat?
Your biggest blog fan

-M said...

How did I miss my own special message at the end of this blog? And the recipe for the pears? Obviously the squash just threw me completely off. Thanks bff!!!! Lots of happy February love back at you! I made the pancakes this morning...very fun! And I did some of the decor/crafts you suggested--also great! Pics to follow...