Tomatoes were iffy this year, the asparagus a bust, and the raspberry cane didn’t even bloom. But lordy, do I have more butternut squash than I know what to do with.
So I made up a quick recipe for soup that turned out quite delicioso, and thought I’d share. Note that I used a pressure cooker, mostly because I was gone all day and came home hungry, but you could use a slow cooker, or boil it up on the stovetop like any vegetable soup.
Butternut Squash Soup
First, peel a medium to large butternut squash. If you’ve never done this before, it can be tricky, even a little dangerous. Those squash are tough, and you don’t want to battle one with a sharp knife unless you know what you’re doing.
So, first slice off the top. Then slice off the bottom so it sits square on the cutting board. Then slowwwwwly force a large knife down through the middle to split it. A long, sturdy knife works best, so you can take a dishtowel and push down on the blade on both sides of the squash.
Then scoop out the seeds, peel it with a vegetable peeler and cut into chunks. Set aside. Oh, wait. Smell it first. Butternut squash smell amazing. ‘Course, that might just be me.
Slice 4-6 slices of bacon into lardons (like, quarter-inch strips, crosswise). Toss in the bottom of the pressure cooker/stew pot and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon and brown (don’t burn!) one chopped onion in the bacon fat. When it’s soft and there are a few crusty bits on the pan, add the cubes of butternut squash, the cooked bits of bacon and about a teaspoon of dried sage, then barely cover with chicken stock.
On the stovetop simmer until the squash is very tender. In a pressure cooker, cook for five minutes at high pressure, then allow to lose pressure of its own accord (as opposed to fast-release by running cold water over it). Six hours ought to do it in a slow cooker on low, but I think it would be hard to overcook it.
It you’re one for pureeing soups, go for it. I took a potato masher to mine until I liked the consistency, then added a bit of heavy cream – you could use sour cream or yogurt, too – to smooth the consistency a little. Salt and pepper to taste and you’re good to go!