Squarshes are tough!
We’ve been trying to figure out how to work butternut squash into our menu (we’ve been trying to work any vegetable in, actually). Mostly out of curiosity, but partially to feel more sophisticated and food-snobbish. It’s not easy. We did find a good recipe from Jamie Oliver that I hope you’ll like. Though not a deciding factor, it’s vegan, too! This is now one of my favorite recipes to make, mostly because of the way it smells when its cooking. I wish I could capture a sample of the aroma. Before adding the squash, the base ingredients were (to me) truly intoxicating. Its a bit like an earthy, aromatic sucker-punch that I really dig. Don’t be too frugal with the herbs; I think you’ll like the smell when the base begins to sweat.As with most recipes we’ve tried, I stuck to it in scope, but varied a few things. Quite by accident, we picked up some Spanish Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (meaning have no clue about olive oil AND were not paying attention). If you really like the smell of good olive oil, I would recommend trying it if you haven’t yet. Again, these are just my opinions and foodies will probably scoff, but it is much more fragrant than the Italian variety. Along with the Spanish olive oil, I also used a whole red chile. It gave it a great flavor and a mellow, residual heat flavor.
Is it just me or does it look like squash are watching?!
They knew they were going to be cut up- I swear!
This recipe makes a lot for two people. Like, a lot-a lot (like we would be well nourished should apocolypse occur tomorrow). However, it wouldn’t take much to pare the portions down. Jamie Oliver mentions that you could go in a number of different directions with this soup. I don’t imagine that would be hard at all . I’d like to try some mellow panchetta, but would also like to throw in some really crispy smoked bacon. Either one would give a great protein consistency to the naturally carb-heavy vegetable puree. Speaking of puree: if you’re going for more of a veggie soup, don’t go all the way with the puree (and I’ll stop with the sing-song rhymes:) I’m not sure that I’d like the large chunks of squash, vs. the way the flavors work in puree form. However, if that’s you’re thing don’t let me hold you back.