Buttercup squash soup to chase the howling winds away

buttercupsquashsoup

Winnie the Pooh: Happy “Winds-day”, Piglet.
Piglet: [being blown away] Well… it isn’t… very happy… f-for me.
Winnie the Pooh: Where are you going, Piglet?
Piglet: That’s what I’m asking myself, where? [he is lifted into the air by a gust of wind]
Piglet: W-Whoops! P-P-P-Pooh!
Winnie the Pooh: [grabbing Piglet’s scarf] And what do you think you will answer yourself?

If Pooh and Piglet were here in Toronto today, they would agree that today is most definitely a blustery day. With the gusts of wind howling around buildings and off roaring over rooftops – maybe taking a thing or two off with them – it’s a perfect day for a hearty soup. More specifically, buttercup squash soup. Buttercup squashes are a variety of winter squash with a sweet, savoury, nutty flavour to it. They taste more like sweet potatoes than pumpkin, and are perfect for roasting, and taste fantastic in a soup.

Ingredients: (serves 4-5)

  • 750mL of beef stock (you can substitute with chicken stock for a lighter flavour or vegetable stock if you’re vegetarian or vegan)
  • 2 buttercup squashes, chopped
  • 5 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 ear of corn, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or dried, if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (your choice, I used hazelnut oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparations

1. Place your chopped onion and oil into a large pot and sauté them until they are caramelized.

2. Add your beef stock to your pot and bring it to a boil. It may not seem like much liquid to start with, but all your vegetables are going to lose their water content as you boil them down so it’s best not to add more than 750mL.

3. Put in your carrots, squash, corn on the cob halves, garlic, and two sprigs of thyme into the pot. Turn the heat down to low to medium-low and simmer your soup for 2 hours. If you have a thermal pot, you just need to simmer for a few minutes and place your pot of soup into your thermal pot to simmer in there for as long as you’d like.

3. Once your soup is good and simmered, add the cinnamon along with your salt and pepper to taste.

4. Purée the soup either with a hand blender or in a blender. If you’re using a the full blender, remove the corn halves. I prefer a hand blender because then I can purée the soup without removing the corn, and can simmer it longer between meals to get more flavour out of the corn.

5. All done! You’re ready to serve. Garnish with a small sprig of thyme.

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