|Roasted Butternut Squash Soup With Apples and Ginger|
I think that this easy soup would go with just about anything! My son said that this was the best food I had made all month... This proclamation concerns me, of course, because we are just a few days away from October. The poor child has been suffering through sub-par food for 28 days apparently. So glad that I was able to remedy the situation tonight...
2 small onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of butter
A little bit of olive oil
An inch of ginger root, peeled and grated (see note below)
1 apple, peeled and diced
2 to 3 pounds of butternut squash, roasted
4 cups or so of vegetable broth
|Roasting Butternut Squash|
There are two ways to roast a butternut squash - the easy way and the hard way. The easy way would be to cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place it on a baking pan and let it cook in the oven until it is roasted and ready to be used. I chose the hard way - I carefully removed the thick peel of my butternut squash and cut up the squash into small cubes. (If you need a friendly reminder about how to cut up a butternut squash, click here.) I spread the squash in an even layer on a cookie sheet sprayed with some cooking spray and sprinkled the pieces generously with salt and pepper.
I let the squash cook in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes. When the squash is done roasting, simply turn off the oven until you are ready to use it in your soup. This step can be done ahead of time to make the actual soup preparation a little bit quicker.
Making the Soup ...
In a large, heavy bottomed pan, melt your butter with a little bit of olive oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic. and ginger. Saute until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped apple and cook for a few more minutes until the apple gets a bit soft. Add the roasted butternut squash. Mash the butternut squash a bit while you stir it well to incorporate all the ingredients together. Add your four cups (or so) of vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and let it simmer for about 30 minutes - or even more if you forget that you are cooking soup. (Not that I did that...)
When your soup has simmered for a bit, you need to either transfer it to a blender to smooth it out or, if you are fancy, use your handy immersion blender. Because I had salted the butternut squash before I roasted it, I didn't feel the need to add any additional seasoning to the soup. The combination of the garlic and the ginger and the roasted squash was just perfect. Taste test it yourself to make sure the flavors are just right, but I doubt you will need to add much once your soup is done. Enjoy!
A note about ginger ... Ginger is another one of those powerhouse ingredients that I love to have on hand. Ginger is a root and it is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is generally sold by the pound so if you pick up a little piece in the produce section, it won't cost you very much at all. I store my ginger in the refrigerator so it is ready when I need it. To use it, simple cut away the tough outer layer and use a grater to grate as much ginger as you need. A little bit goes a long way! Click here for more information about ginger (and beautiful photos) from the talented Jaden Hair who writes the Steamy Kitchen food blog.
A note about immersion blenders ... An immersion blender is a handheld blender that is absolutely necessary if you love to make soup. My immersion blender is ancient (I stole it from my parents' house when I left for college) and it has one speed - on. Plug it in, stick it in your soup, press the big button and watch your chunky soup turn into a smooth masterpiece. If you have about $25 burning a hole in your pocket, I highly recommend you go out and get one.