Saturday, December 3, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup and getting back on track...

I had a plan. I was on track. Things were working. But sometimes life has other plans, and at the end of the summer I was dealt a devastating blow that changed things dramatically. I lost the most important person in my life, unexpectedly, and it derailed me.

I couldn't cook for a long time. I didn't want to eat. The sadness felt inescapable. Everything triggered a memory. And the comfort and joy I had always found in the kitchen became somehow empty and painful when it was so difficult just to get out of bed each morning and be functional. Get dressed. Get on the bus. Go to work. 

So this project was abandoned, and it's taken me a long time to regain my focus. I'm finally now starting to cook again. Easing back in. One day at a time. Finding comfort in classic family recipes. Trying new ingredients. I'm not there yet, but cooking is feeding my path to healing.

This recipe is a new one. Simple ingredients and perfect for the cold, windy, autumnal days we've been having in the city lately.

Recipe after the jump...
Butternut Squash Soup
Serves 4

5 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 sweet onions, diced
16 oz chicken stock
4 tbs unsalted butter
4 tbs olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, removed from stems and minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stems and minced
1 1/2 tbs fresh garlic, minced
2 tbs créme fraîche
kosher salt

Optional: Minced chives and dollops of créme fraîche to garnish.

1. Saute onion with butter, olive oil, rosemary and thyme in a medium-sized pot over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add butternut squash, garlic, and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions become golden and the butternut squash begins to soften, about 8 minutes.

3. Add chicken stock to pot, stir to combine, and cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes at a gentle boil until the butternut squash is fork tender.

4. Use an immersion blender to blend soup to a smooth consistency. If using a standing blender or food processor, allow the mixture to cool slightly before blending.  Blend in batches, as necessary.

5. Return soup to pot and stir in créme fraîche.

6. Serve hot, with créme fraîche and minced chives to garnish.



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