Monday, January 23, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, with Pear

butternut squash soup
This soup does not contain bananas, but (quite against my will) my house does.

This is my favourite soup. It might be your favourite soup, too. It's also really easy if you already have a batch of home-made chicken stock in your house and you haven't contracted a fear of your immersion blender as a result of a horrible exhaustion-plus-stupidity-plus-walnut-pesto accident that landed you in the emergency room with the end of an immersion blender attached to the end of your arm.

But I don't want you to associate this soup with idiotic and painful kitchen accidents. This is the soup that lures you BACK to your immersion blender despite your kitchen-appliance-PTSD, because it's so damn good.

butternut squash soup
What you are seeing is the smell of deliciousness.
That all being said, don't bother making it if you don't have any home made chicken stock. Or at least some really quality stock from some local shop. The stuff that comes in cans and boxes at the big grocery store is useless at making soup that tastes anything but 'meh'. Is that snooty of me? To expect you to make your own chicken stock? It's really much easier than it sounds. It's time consuming, but it's all sitting-and-watching-movies time. I need to make some soon, so maybe I'll try to write down the process for you in a really un-intimidating way.

But if you've already got stock, say a litre or so, make this soup.

butternut squash soup
I grew my own chives and used them all in this soup. All two of them.

Get a small butternut squash, a few tomatoes, a leek, some garlic, and a few pears. Peel and de-seed the squash and chop it roughly. Quarter the tomatoes. Use the washed, white and light-green parts of the leek. Peel a few cloves of the garlic. Core the pears. Toss them all in some olive oil and spread them out on a big cookie sheet. Or two small ones. (With some tin foil underneath if you don't like washing up.) Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper and roast it at about 400F until the squash and the pears are tender. Dump it all in a pot with your chicken stock and blend to whatever consistency you prefer. I suppose this could also be done with a regular blender, in batches. Heat the soup up to whatever temperature you like and consume with relish (as in, "I shall relish my revenge!" not "I like my burgers with relish.") Maybe dump some cream or Gorgonzola or something on top if you're having a dinner party. Really, it's probably best not to top this soup with relish.

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