Buttercup (Winter) Squash Soup

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I’ve always been a squash lover. As a young un’, whenever my mom would ask what kind of soup we’d like that week, my response would always be, “Squash!”. Butternut to be exact. A slight problem was that my mother and I were the only ones in the household who seemed to enjoy squash, and since four other persons resided in the household, being the kind soul my mother is, squash soup slowly worked it’s way out of the weekly soup schedule. Oh, the sad times.

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It wasn’t until quite a while later, when a few of the non-squash supporters moved out and squash showed it’s face once again on the table, that I realized more than one type of squash existed! ‘Squash’ was not just a sole thing to enjoy, but part of a gigantic family of squashes of all shapes, sizes and flavours. So far, every single type of squash I’ve tried, butternut, spaghetti and pattypan, have been fantastic. So why should every single other squash be any different? Well, I was wrong…

The other night my family and I were sitting down to dinner. There in front of us was a delicious bowl of pureed buttercup squash. Flavoured with ginger and maple syrup, I was extremely excited to dig in. Buttercup squash had never graced us with it’s presence at our table before, so it was a first to all of us. I heaped a large spoonful onto my plate and dug in.

“Yum!” was my initial reaction. A few seconds later, the richness of the buttercup squash overwhelmed me. Interesting…I thought. Taking another bite, the true strength of the squash hit me. Then and there, I decided that the buttercup squash is the Hulk of the squash world. STRONG being the key point here. Not wanting to upset the cook, I kept eating it, every spoonful becoming harder and harder to swallow. I took a sip of water. I took a bite. I choked it down with water. Repeat.

“I actually don’t like this!” The cook of the squash exclaimed, “Actually, I don’t like it at all.

“Actually, me neither!” I exclaimed, sounding a little too relieved that the cook had said something.

After some chitter and a bit more chatter, it was decided that this squash was not one to be paired with ginger and maple syrup, but with carrots and potatoes, onions and garlic, and far more spices. Something, ANYTHING to counteract it’s Hulk like taste.

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Being me, I took on the challenge of turning the leftover squash into something fantastic. A soup to be exact! It turned out fantastic.

“Blog worthy?” I asked my mom as she took a bite.

“Blog worthy.” She replied, smiling.

So here it is! A fantastic nothing, turned into something!

My mom pointed out how many ways you can take one food and prepare it. The buttercup squash for example. It may not be that great prepared with ginger and maple syrup, but when stirred into carrots, onions, potatoes and a dash of curry powder, deliciousness is created! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did 🙂

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BUTTERCUP (WINTER) SQUASH SOUP-serves 4

Prepare the squash:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Cut squash in half and place face down in a glass baking dish, and pour in 1/4 inch of water into the bottom. Cover with foil and bake until tender when pierced with a thin skewer. Check after 30 minutes.

Take squash, remove the seeds and fibers, then measure the pulp and scrape it into a bowl. For every cup of pulp, add:

  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 TSP maple syrup
  • 1/4 TSP ground ginger

Puree in blender until smooth and set aside.

Prepare Soup:

  • 2 TB olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 1 medium sized clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp curry powder, more or less depending on your taste

In a pot set over medium heat, sauté onions, garlic and hazelnuts in olive oil until onions are clear and tender.

Add in carrots, potato, water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender.

Take off heat, let cool a few minutes, then puree in blender until smooth. Return to pot and over low heat, stir in milk, vegetable broth, squash puree, curry powder and more salt if desired.

Reheat slowly, and garnish with plain yogurt and freshly cracked pepper if you desire.

Enjoy!

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