Monday, November 20, 2006

Butternut Squash

Is this not the biggest butternut squashes you've ever seen? Patti and grabbed these at the Peterborough Farmers Market, and couldn't resist! I put her cell phone up against these to show the size comparison... wow

Patti wants me to make her some butternut squash soup, and the rest I will either roast, or freeze. Here is the recipe for the butternut squash soup, thats super silky... mmm

You need a folding steamer basket or a pasta pot insert for the steaming of the squash.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts, serving 4 to 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 medium shallots , minced (about 4 tablespoons)

3 pounds butternut squash (about 1 large), unpeeled, squash halved lengthwise, seeds and stringy fibers scraped with spoon and
reserved (about 1/4 cup), and each half cut into quarters

Kosher salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

1. Heat butter in large Dutch oven or stock pot, over medium-low heat until foaming; add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add squash scrapings and seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, place squash cut-side down in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot. Cover and steam until squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes.
Off heat, use tongs to transfer squash to rimmed baking sheet; reserve steaming liquid. When cool enough to handle, use large spoon to scrape flesh from skin into medium bowl; discard skin. Remember to toss this into your compost bucket for the trip to the composter!
2. Pour reserved steaming liquid through mesh strainer into second bowl; discard (compost bucket!) solids in strainer.
Rinse and dry Dutch oven.
3. In blender or food processor, puree squash and reserved liquid in batches, pulsing on low until smooth. Transfer puree to Dutch oven; stir in cream and brown sugar and heat over medium-low heat until hot. Add salt to taste; serve immediately.

This is great when served with homemade croutons (with a little cinnimon in them!)

To freeze the soup, make sure that the soup has completely cooled off first. You can pour into Mason jars, 3/4 full with the lid on loose until frozen, or pour into zip lock bags and lie flat in freezer to freeze. Make sure all the air out first. To use, thaw in the fridge over night, or put bag of soup unopened, into pot of water and reheat. Do NOT attempt this with the jars!! Posted by Picasa

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