Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oh My Gourd

Gingery Butternut Tater Soup

Many times over the years, I'd heard my colleagues share the virtues of their latest blended soups during lunch break. I was inspired, and they were always very encouraging about how easy they were to make, but I wasn't a creamy soup maker. With the sole exception of congee, my soups were of the thin sort: thin soup with noodles or rice, meat and vegetables. That was my thing. But those lunchtime soups looked good and smelled good, real good, and I decided it was my time to make one. Well, it's been several years since I decided that, but I finally made it happen last week; I created my first creamy blended soups with winter squash as my inspiration. And I must say that it was worth the wait: very tasty and truly super easy just like they said it would be. Now my thing is soup thick or thin.

Gingery Butternut Tater Soup: Cut up, core and peel a butternut squash, and peel and cut up some potatoes. (I used a 2:1, squash to potato ratio.) Cover in chicken stock and boil until soft. Add about 2 tablespoons of finely ground fresh ginger. (Add it in after boiling to keep the fresh zing of the ginger, but you can put it in to boil as well for a milder zing.) Blend it all together with a tabletop or hand-held blender. Add fresh ground pepper, spoon it in and feel your tummy warm.

Leeky Nutty Buttercup Soup

For this recipe: Cut up, core and peel a small buttercup squash, and roughly cut up the whites of one leek. Cover with chicken stock and boil until soft. Add in about 1/2 to 1 cup of smooth peanut butter. Add a dash of cayenne for a small kick, and a splash of apple cider vinegar for brightness, if desired. Blend it together. Fresh ground pepper on top is a must. For some reason it tastes a little of split pea soup! Yummy autumn goodness.

(The thing I love most about these soups is that the flavour combinations are endless. Next time I will try variations with carrots, corn, celery, onions, sweet potatoes, tomato..., and then there are the herbs and spices...!)

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