September 13, 2006

Soup Season

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Soup Season seems to have come early this year. Hot summer days have been replaced with cool rainy ones. Leaves are turning colour and falling from the big maple trees in front of my house, clogging the eaves trough. The kitchen stove which has been dormant through the heat, has now reawakened and is eager to be put to use. The garden, perhaps in cohorts with the stove, is producing mass quantities of assorted squash just begging to be turned into a warming soup. Ah, Soup Season. I thought I’d kick it off with a roasted butternut squash soup, my own creation, (although I’m sure there are tons out there just like it, this soup is as easy as you get)

Bri’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1. Go out to your garden and find yourself a nice butternut squash. If you do not personally have such a garden, a local farmer’s market is acceptable and so are kids at the end of their laneways with a wheelbarrow full of squash just trying to make a buck- that used to be me.
2. Peel and cube your squash and throw it on a baking sheet with a head or two of garlic (no need to peel, just slice off the top so you can squeeze it out later) and a couple small onions which have been quartered and drizzle the whole thing in olive oil. Bake in the oven at 350F until the squash has begun to caramelize, stirring occasionally.
3. In the mean time, heat some chicken stock (how much you use will depend on how thick or thin you like your soup) on the stove, get out your blender or food processor, and look in the fridge for a block of parmesan and some sour cream.
4. When the squash is done and the stock is warm, combine the two in the blender, (you may have to do this is batches, let it cool a bit if too hot) add in ½ cup grated parmesan, 1 cup of sour cream, a pinch or two or cayenne pepper and a tsp of habanero sauce, salt to taste.
5. Place a strainer over the pot that you used for chicken stock and pour the contents of the blender through the strainer, back into the pot to keep it warm until serving. Some toasted pine nuts or fresh chives make a nice garnish.

I wouldn’t skip the straining step, it gives the soup a really nice smooth texture. And don’t be afraid of the habanero sauce, it balances out the sweetness of the squash. There you have it, the first soup of the season. More will undoubtedly follow.

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wheresmymind said...

Looks like a well balanced soup...are you talking a habanero type hot sauce (like tabasco?)

Brilynn said...

Tabasco doesn't quite have the same flavour, but yes, a habanero pepper hot sauce is what I added. I like habaneros because I find you don't get an immediate, overwhelming hot taste, it's more of an aftertaste of heat.