|Yes, you can make butternut squash soup quick and easy and lower fat.|
I received an email from Alice in Wisconsin who asked me to post one of my original soup recipes in step-by-step format. I usually do not do that because a lot of photos take longer to load and a lot of people are using their phones and tablets to read my blog. It just so happens, lucky for Alice, this week I'm having some Northern Exposure and decided to cook everything and anything in sight and decided to post this just for her.
|East Grand Lake, Danforth, Maine|
This recipe is lower fat. Unlike other recipes that use heavy whipping cream and tons of butter, I cut down the calories to make this a low fat alternative. Here's what you will need to feed four hungry folks with big bowls of soup:
3 Medium sized Butternut Squash
14-16 ounces of low fat msg free chicken broth
1 cup water
3/4 cup half and half or light cream
3/4 stick of salted butter
1 stalk of celery
3 slices off a large onion
2 teaspoons fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried dill
Knife, Cutting Board, Juicer, Sautee Pan
Salt and Pepper to taste
There's plenty of great recipes on the web that will tell you to cook the squash or boil it down and these take up to 2 hours. My recipe took me 45 minutes, and that's with the pictures!
I want to mention I grew these butternut squash in my garden. I picked them in October and didn't use them until now. So they have been sitting for almost two months. I fully anticipated having to turn them into the compost pile (or birdhouses) but they were still good. They are one of the most resiliant squash species out there.
Trimming Process: 10-12 minutes on three squash! Not bad!
1. I slice the bottom off my squash so the squash sits upright on the cutting board. I usually work on the neck separately from the bottom. I trim my squash with a knife taking off only a sliver of the rind.
2. There is not much waste on the outside, and leftover bits of rind will show greenish tinge, that you have to trim off.
3. I used this squash just in time. The seeds are in the lower part of the squash, and you can see that this squash is starting to dry. The squash will dry and rot from the seed pod out. This one was okay but had I waited another week or two it may have been a different story. Cut down straight around your seeded area.
4. The neck or top part of the squash is 99% usable. IT's easy to peel and slice this up. There are no seeds up here.
5. This is the size chunks you can use. It's going in your juicer, so medium sized is fine. Think of the size of cantaloupe chunks in fruit salad. When you are doing slicing all three squash, you are ready to process.
*Yes, you are going to process raw, uncooked squash!
|I use the NutriBullet (by Magic Bullet) which I picked up at Target for $99.|
Remember when juicing you have to use liquid, so in this case you are going to use your chicken broth little by little. I make a lot of homemade stock, but in this case the stock would be too jellied to successfully puree the ingredients in the juicer, without adding water, so that's why I'm sticking to broth.
Juicing Process: 2-5 minutes on three squash! Not bad!
1. Continue juicing your butternut squash slices bit by bit with the chicken stock. You should have enough chicken stock to do all the butternut slices.
2. Cut your stalk into bits and add your three pieces of onion (three slices) into one of the cups. You want to juice that up too. Way more flavor.
3. Empty each cup into your sautee' pan and check for any lumps. Lumps will have to be re-juiced. If you run out of stock, use the water.
Turn your sautee' pan on medium. Add in your butter, dill, water and any leftover chicken broth. Continue to stir until boiling.
|Let it boil for at least 15 minutes, now you are technically cooking the squash. Stir constantly so it does not stick or reduce. TIP: I used a teflon coated saute' pan.|
If you feel it's reducing too much, add a small amount of water. However, your goal is to reduce it some as you still have to add the cream. Once your 15 minutes is up , reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 more minutes on medium heat. It is only after this time, (35 total cook minutes) that you will turn the pot off, and let it sit a few minutes while you clean off your counter top. Now, you will slowly fold in your cream. Note: I do not take the cream straight from the fridge. To prevent breaking, I have my cream in a measuring cup ready on the counter for at least 5-10 minutes prior to using.
Trimming/Cutting/Dicing the Squash - min 10 minutes max 15 minutes
Processing/Juicing/Adding Veggies - min 2 minutes max 5 minutes
Boiling the soup (less the cream) 15 minutes
Reducing the heat and simmering (less the cream) 20 minutes
Turn off the pot, sit for a bit, then mix in the cream and serve! 5 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Satt and Pepper to taste and enjoy. Note: The dill has given the soup a sweet flavor. It's rich thanks to the butter and cream, and the squash is over the top with flavor thanks to being juiced. Itself gives it an overall filling taste. I could only eat one bowl. It's a quick and easy recipe to impress those who think you can't cook.
I've shared you this thanks to the great peeps over at Food Pinup. I just joined it and hope to share a lot of my recipes there. It's a free site where you can share your food pictures, favorite recipes, and ideas. You will see only the best in food photographs! Joining is free and I hope to see you there. There's one thing I like almost as much as cooking, and that's reading about food! I think this may just be better than Pinterest for foodies!