Recipe: Butternut Goodness

BTD-view-all-recipes2I’m saving up my money and energy for tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday, and yet another Thanksgiving feast with some friends in from Italy. Today is a mini-detox of a day–some time at the spa, and a meal of nothing but healthy, yummy butternut squash soup. If you’re a regular, you might remember the Great Soup Debacle. Well, here it is done right. This one is way up there with recipes I get asked for the most. I think you’ll love it!

Gather up
1 butternut squash
a handful of fresh rosemary
olive oil
sea salt
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a drizzle of honey
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a shallot
soft fresh goat cheese

32 oz of chicken stock
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you’ll also need
a blender
a medium stock pan
a baking sheet
a wooden spoon
a fillable teabag
Sauvignon Blanc

Set your oven to medium broil.

Slice your squash tip to bottom in 4 quarter segments. If the squash is quite long, cut the ends as well (see below).
Then scoop out the seeds and set them aside. We will toast them later and garnish with them.

Oil your baking sheet & dust it well with sea salt.

Strip your rosemary stems and fill the empty cavities where the seeds were with the rosemary.

“Recreate” halves and place each half (encompassing the rosemary) face down on the baking sheet, so the only thing exposed to the oven air is the skin side of the squash.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until the squash skin is black and the meat of the squash is completely soft. Any uncooked spots in the squash will make the soup bitter, so be sure it is thoroughly baked. You can test the thickest points of the squash with a fork to be sure.

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While that is cooking…
For starters, lets not get ahead of ourselves. Pour yourself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (this is one of my favs).
FInely chop your shallot, put a tiny bit of olive oil in your pan, heat to medium high, and carmelize the chopped shallot. When the edges of the pan begin to get slightly brown, splash a bit of the wine in to unlock that yummy carmelized goodness, and let the wine and shallot heat together for about 1 minute. Then add your chicken stock, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and warm it on low with the lid on until your squash is ready.
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Sip…sip….sip….flip on Tivo, catch up on Big Bang Theory… and the squash is ready
Use a spoon to scrape the meat of your squash into the blender.
Carefully, ladle about 1/3 to 1/2 of your heated chicken stock mixture into the blender.

Take the rosemary and stuff it into the tea bag. Place it into the warm broth to infuse for a few minutes.

Now, a third ball in the air–wash off and sprinkle your squash seeds on the baking sheet.
Lower the oven temperature to about 435 degrees. put the seeds in for about 7 minutes on the middle rack. You want them browned, but not burned. Salt them if you like.

Back to the blender.
Hold the lid tightly. The contents will burst toward the lid, and they are HOT.
With the lid held tight blend thoroughly.
Remove the rosemary tea bag from the broth and pour the blended mixture back into the pan with the shallot and stock. Stir together with a wooden spoon.

Taste and add salt and a small drizzle honey if needed. Whether or not you need it will just depend of the ripeness of the squash.

Garnish with goat cheese and toasted seeds.

There you have it, an easy, completely healthy low-calorie meal. Freeze what you don’t eat, and warm it up on the stove in a little chicken stock next week. You might get hooked!

I’m off to the spa. Have a wonderful Black Friday. Shop responsibly. Save up for Small Business Saturday and use your means to help your local economy!
And as always…

write often,

xx,

h

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