Thursday, October 27, 2005

Adventures in Soup

Last week I went out for lunch at Kelsey's, and I was really excited to have their new fall menu Butternut Squash Soup. Now, under normal circumstances, I do not like squash or any squash products, except for zucchini (but I think zucchini needs to be in a vegetable class by itself and shouldn't be in the squash family). But last winter at my work Christmas party we had a choice of either butternut squash soup or cream of broccoli soup, and I'd rather eat dirt than eat overcooked broccoli soup, so I had the butternut squash soup. And it was delicious.

And the butternut squash soup at Kelsey's last week was delicious too. Paris thought the pizza smelled tasty, as you will note in the photograph. But he learned that tandoori chicken mango pizza is too spicy.

So, I decided, since butternut squash soup is so tasty, I'd venture into soup making once again and make my own. When I lived in the big brown house at school with Holly and Rachel and Tamara and Joanne (and other assorted roommates), I made homemade soup every once in awhile. I liked it, it was tasty... but I don't think my roommates always appreciated it. I have a blue post-it note in my scrapbook from that year, on which I had written "Make soup" and had stuck to my computer (to remind myself that I needed to make soup to take to a Soup and Bannock night at a campus home), and to which Joanne scrawled underneath "When you're at home, not here."

Anyways, I bought a butternut squash at Independent on Saturday for $2.31. I thought that was a little pricey, squash grows like a weed once you plant it... if you have a garden you have so much you don't know what to do with it all.

I looked around on the internet for a recipe on Monday and printed two off. I had read though that roasting the squash made the soup a yucky colour, and both recipes I printed said to roast the squash first. So I phoned my Mom and asked if I could just dice and boil. She said that would probably work fine but she had never made squash soup and my Gramma would be proud.

So, here is the cutting of the squash in progress. Note the bowl of seeds. Note the little cooking pot I was dicing into. Butternut squash is very tough stuff to cut. (And our counter is too cluttered).

There was too much squash so I had to put it in a bigger pot:

After boiling it for awhile I mashed it up with a potato masher I found in a drawer. I had no idea my roommate had a potato masher, I've never seen her eat potatoes before.

Here is the soup bubbling up after the mashing. I wanted it to get more pureed-ish, but I didn't have anything other than the potato masher to puree with. So I boiled it for awhile longer. I added some unsalted butter that my roommate who just moved out left. The best before date was October 18th, but I figured butter can't really go bad can it?

But it was taking a long time to get less chunky and it was 6:45pm by this time and I was hungry and Martha was almost over so I decided it was cooked well enough to eat.

I washed the seeds and dried them in the oven. I didn't remember to take a picture until I had eaten about three-quarters of them. They were very tasty.

The soup was pretty good, but when my roommate came home she said the kitchen stunk like parmesan cheese and decided it was the soup. I think it must have been the butter. I have a huge jumbo bowl of the soup left still so I'll be eating it for a couple of days.

I think I'll try making it again but I think next time I will roast the squash first and try that. And one of the recipes suggested using chicken broth instead of water, that sounds like a good idea. And now that I look at the Kelsey's website I noticed that they call it "roasted butternut squash soup.".

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