Saturday, March 8, 2014

Roasted butternut squash soup

A very good friend of mine injured herself skiing, and during the first few days of recuperation, the only thing I could think to do was make soup for her.  Soup is always comforting, and some how when you are not feeling well or hurt soup is what appeals.  I had some good home made chicken stock in the freezer, so I spent Sunday afternoon making soups.  I had bought a butternut squash in my fridge also and decided to convert this to soup.

This made enough for 4 big servings

1 whole butternut squash
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 clove of garlic sliced
6 cups of chicken stock
2 whole star anise
1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg (if at all possible fresh)
1/4 cup of cream (optional)

Cut the squash in to quarters take out the seeds and lay on a foil lined cookie sheet, then drizzle with olive oil salt and pepper.

Roast in a 350 oven for about 3/4 of an hour or until the flesh is cooked through and starting to go golden. This concentrates the flavour and adds sweetness.

While you are waiting for the squash to cool down enough to handle, sweat off the onions and garlic in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until they are translucent.

Then scoop the squash in leaving only the skins, and add the chicken stock.

Add the star anise and grated nutmeg.

Simmer for at least 10 minutes then put through a blender or use a hand blender to create a smooth rich soup.  Remove the star anise before doing this, it has a strong flavour and this short time in the soup imparts a wonderful subtle aniseed flavour.

When the soup is ready to serve add a little more grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

This the time that you could also add the cream, but as my friend is lactose intolerant, I decided against this.  This was a lovely rich comforting creamy soup with an added bonus of being high in nutrition and low in calories, just what the Doctor ordered.

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