Some things cannot be changed, no matter how much effort is sunk into them. As a (mostly) vegetarian, fervent lover of fruits and passionate adorer of vegetables, it is with much regret that I announce my dislike of butternut squash soup. Either too sweet or too salty, not enough butternut squash or a bland, sweet puree reminiscent of baby food, butternut squash is a vegetable best left to the dessert world. As a substitute for pumpkin, it's fantastic. The sweet, creamy fruit, roasted and scooped from its helmet-like skin, blends beautifully with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Covered in salt and whiffing of garlic, though, not so much.
And it's not even easy, or quick. I'm actually massively lazy on a regular basis, or, more likely, perpetually exhausted, thanks to a(n un)healthy karate habit. This recipe requires a blender, the oven, the stove, constant stirring, and the possibility of bright orange soup explosions. In other words, not something I'm down for at 11:30pm after two hours of class, an extra workout, and an hour driving home in unexpected traffic.
Sad to say, it is not this recipe that changes my mind, and I slowly back away from my fruitless (heh) quest to find an agreeable butternut squash soup. As a proud home cook with a massive ego, it rather pains me to admit that even I can't make myself like butternut squash soup. Then, why, might one ask, why on Earth am I sharing a recipe for this one dish that I have never managed to enjoy? A soup that takes up an entire huge box in the fridge and will probably last another week and three friends staying over Friday night? Because, glory hallelujah, my boyfriend likes this soup.
Butternut Squash Soup
Reluctantly developed from various sources, including Simply Recipes and Cookie and Kate
2 lb cubed butternut squash (we bought ours from Costco. A lovely place)
2 or 3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive or other cooking oil
1 tsp salt (season to taste)
4 cups water
1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking tray, preferably rimmed, with foil.
2. Chop the onion into large chunks. Peel, trim and roughly chop the garlic.
3. Mix the onion, garlic and butternut squash with 1 tbsp of oil and layer on the baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and roast the vegetables for about 60 minutes, stirring them halfway. The vegetables will brown, caramelize a bit, and become what is probably the most delicious stage of this soup.
4. In a blender, food processor or other pureeing device, cream together the vegetables and water into soup, probably in batches.
5. Heat on the stove, stirring gently to prevent bright orange explosions.
6. Season to taste, and serve to those who enjoy butternut squash soup. Enjoy! I hope.