Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Things have been busy lately.
I've been 2 differnent doctors this week, got lots of blood drawn, and 2 shots which made my arms sore the next day. This morning I somewhat finished the shopping list for our thanksgiving dinner, made pancakes,study some for my SAT , and roasted a butternut squash for soup (recipe below).

     Thanksgiving this year for our family will not be on Thanksgiving day. My grandparents, aunt, and uncle are going my uncle's sister's for thanksgiving and my mom is going to a friend's daughter's house leaving my dad and I at home. My dad will be cleaning the house while I make and prepare the sides and desserts for the 26th which is when at least 16 people will be crowded into our house talking and eating for our "late" Thanksgiving.
    Then exactly 1 week after that, I have my SAT test to take, a youth breakfast to attend, and will be testing out cookie recipes for both our church lunch in and to give as presents, and making mini loaves of bread because Garden Ridge has holiday mini loaf pans that were only 99 cents each so I bought some.
    Then somehow I have to make a few dozen cookies for our church's Holiday Lunch in, go to another church's camp where they take kids and teens who are underprivaleged to have a good meal, interact with other kids, ride horses, and such, and then wake up extra early the next day to head to church to prepare for the lunch in (and I possibly might have to be in a play on that day too, but I have no clue) all in a 2-3 day time frame.
And that is not nearly everything I have planned or scheduled to do this holiday season.
I might need to hibernate for a few months after this is all over with.

   I have another soup recipe to share. No its not the french onion soup recipe I was going to share first, but this soup is pretty tasty. Its a butternut squash soup recipe that I made up after looking over serveral other recipes for butternut squash soup. This soup doesn't have any dairy or cream in it, but you would never know that by how rich and creamy it is. Also I roasted the squash in the oven first, which took little effort and made peeling the squash extremely easy.
Butternut Squash Soup topped with pepper and bacon -
I added pine nuts too, but I was hungry and chose to eat the soup instead of taking a picture of it.

Butternut Squash Soup
serves: 6
Cook time: 1 hr. 10 minutes

1 medium-large butternut squash
1 small onion
2 small leeks
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp olive oil
3 cp chicken stock
1-2 cp water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper
bacon, cooked and chopped (for garnish, optional)
pine nuts (for garish, optional)

1. Cut the squash lengthwise in half, remove the seeds and pulp, and lay face down on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook in a preheated oven on 425 F for 40 minutes or until the squash is tender when poked with a fork. Set a side to cool.
2. Once the squash has cooled down, use a fork to peel the skin off.
3. In a large dutchoven or pot, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Chop the onion, leeks, garlic, carrots and add into the pot. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
4. Add the chicken stock, 1 cup of water,the squash, the sprigs of thyme,salt, pepper, cayenne, and the bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, and set a side to cool.
5. Use an immersion blender or a kitchen blender to puree the soup. You will have to work in batches if using a kitchen blender. Depending on how thick you like your soup, you may add the extra water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. In a small skillet, cook the chopped bacon until crispy. Drain the excess fat and top off each bowl of soup with some bacon and pine nuts.

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