Friday, October 13, 2006

Let's Cook!

Last weekend I took my neice and nephew to the pumpkin patch for a full day of fun. Needless to say, the cold temperatures and fall colors inspired me to make a dinner that welcomed the beginning of Autumn....

...Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is so easy, yet makes you look like a total rock star in the kitchen. I love the velvety smooth texture, and simple sweetness - plus, the color is pretty darned dandy for Fall.

1 butternut squash, peeled*
Nutmeg, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, diced
6 cups chicken stock - either pre-packaged or homemade

To make peeling a little easier, slice the bottom of the butternut squash to that create a steady platform. Cut the squash into 1'' chunks. Melt the butter in a large stock pot. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the chunked squash and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is fork tender. Puree mixture in small batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add back to stock pot, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

I also use a kitchen tea towel and my hand to hold down the top of the food processor. It's a little extra insurance, and piece of mind, in case a build up of pressure (from all the hotness) should push the top off while you are blending.

This soup is good as is - but you can also jazz it up a bit with a few simple garnishes...crunchy croutons and a fresh grate of parmeasan cheese or a dollop of sour cream with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley or a little chopped scallion for color.

Since this was a dinner, and I wanted it to be substantial, I also added some cooked small cheese ravioli. Tortellini would also be fantastic.

*You can also substitute acorn squash, or canned pumpkin.

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