By: Steve “Mo” Fye, Copy Chief | Photos By: Steve “Mo” Fye, Copy Chief
Late summer and early fall bring a stunning variety of squashes for the creative cook.
Many grocery stores will only have the ubiquitous pumpkins, but farmers markets and specialty produce stores will have dozens of different hard-skinned squashes.
Pattypans — or Starburst squash — can be picked while young and tender and pickled for the cold winter days, or stuffed and baked. Delicata and Turban squashes are wonderful mashed and seasoned. Butternut squash is great grated, steamed and cooked like potatoes for vitamin-rich and brilliantly colored hash browns.
Squash is equally good for sweet or savory dishes. Honey and brown sugar added to roasted squash makes a delicate dessert, while butter and bread crumbs mixed with nearly any kind of peeled and diced squash can make a great replacement for potatoes, pasta or rice.
Butternut Squash Soup with Herbed Whipped Cream
For the Soup:
- 1 large Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½ inch dice (about 2 pounds)
- ½ pound Carrots, washed, peeled and cut into about ½ dice.
- 2 Tbsp. Olive or Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
- 1 Tbsp. Ground White Pepper
- 2 quarts Chicken, Vegetable or Beef Stock
- 2 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar
- 3 cups Heavy Whipping Cream, cool
For the topping:
- 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream (very cold)
- 1 Tbsp. minced Parsley
- 1 tsp. minced Green Onion
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss the squash and carrots in the oil and add salt and pepper. Roast on a foil-lined cookie sheet until the squash and carrots begin to brown, about 35-40 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil and then turn down heat to just a simmer. Place the roasted squash and carrots in the stock and simmer until they are very soft.
3) Ladle the veggies and stock into a blender in small batches, not filling the blender more than half full each time. Puree the soup until it is perfectly smooth, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
5) Pour the soup into a clean soup pot and whisk in the cream. Add the cider vinegar and adjust seasoning to taste.
6) Just before service, whip the cup of cold cream in a cold steel mixing bowl until it makes soft peaks. Add the herbs and continue whipping until it makes firm peaks. Garnish each bowl of soup with a generous dollop of the cream.
Ginger Squash Soup: Add 6 Tbsp. of fresh ginger or 2 Tbsp. of ground ginger to stock while squash is roasting.
Chunky Squash Soup: Only purée half the soup and mix with un-puréed soup.
Low-fat Squash Soup: Omit cream and substitute 2 cups of nonfat dry milk.
This soup can be made with any type of winter squash. Just substitute pumpkin, spaghetti or acorn squash for the butternut.
Winter Vegetable Soup: Use half the amount of squash and substitute roasted parsnips, turnips and rutabagas.