Saturday, January 19, 2008
When I saw Jamie oliver make this on TV the other day using whole butternut squash, skin and all, I knew I had to give it a shot. I wanted to see how it compares with my regular butternut squash recipe that onvolves the long roasting of the squash first and a cup of cream at the end. I also wanted to see if leaving the skin on makes any difference.
I wanted to make it vegetarian, so I substituted my flavorful vegetable stock for chicken stock. Other than that I made the recipe as is. It is so easy and takes less than an hour from start to finish. The base is a mirepoix and garlic, sautéed till soft along with rosemary. Then I added the chunks of butternut squash and stock.
After it simmers for about 40 minutes and everything is soft, I used my handheld blender to puree it to a smooth velvety consistency. The parmesan croutons are made of crusty bread, rubbed with olive oil and parmesan. Then the slices are cooked in a dry nonstick pan till the cheese melts and turns crispy.
The soup is outstanding, and for the little work involved it certainly ranks up there with my traditional recipe. As for leaving the skin on, I cannot really tell the difference. However, for those who know what a pain it is to peel the darn things, I certainly appreciate the fact that I can make this soup and not bother with peeling.
In addition to the croutons, the fried sage leaves and the drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, I also served this tasty soup with a few small dollops of crème fraiche. I had also roasted the seeds with some spices to sprinkle on top, but totally forgot to use them. Oh well, they tasted great as a snack afterwards.