Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Ancho Butternut Squash Soup

This butternut squash soup recipe arose largely from one of my many aimless meanderings through the grocery store. I generally grab the first vegetable that looks good, and build a meal around it.

It turned out to be a perfect fall recipe, as well as a perfect soft food for this insane diet my doctor put me on to help heal my TMJ. I just try not to think of it as adult baby food. Ancho chili paste adds a wonderful smokiness to the soup, and just a little bit of spice to accent the squash's sweetnesss.

The benefit of buzzing down a soup into a smooth consistency is that you can include a bunch of vegetables besides the ones creating the main flavors of the dish. I added fresh green beans and tofu, and couldn't tell the difference. You could even add spinach or kale for some extra vitamins.

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 2 yellow potatoes, cut into 1" cubes
  • 4 carrots, cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1/3 of a sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 head fennel or anise, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cups roughly chopped green beans
  • 1 package silken tofu, cut into
  • 4 vegetable bullion cubes
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 4 dried ancho chilies, stems pulled off
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • optional garnish, crumbled Gorgonzolla
  1. Heat the oil in a large stock pot. When it starts to glisten, add fennel, onion, and garlic. Cook until onions start to turn translucent. Be careful not to let garlic burn or brown. About five minutes.
  2. Add 1/3 of the can of vegetable broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot and stir to incorporate any caramelized bits.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and let them cook down. About eight minutes.
  4. Add squash, carrots, potatoes, broth, and bullion. Pour in water until it comes to an inch from the top of the vegetables. The amount of water will depend on how much juicy the tomatoes are.
  5. Bring to a boil, stirring lower vegetables to the top of the pot occasionally. Let cook for 30-40 minutes, or until carrots and squash are very soft.
  6. While vegetables are boiling, microwave the 1 1/2 cups water in a wide bowl for two minutes. Set the chili pods in the bowl for about 10 minutes, until reconstituted.
  7. Buzz chili pods and water in a blender or food processor until they become a paste.
  8. When vegetables are soft, transfer contents of the pot into a blender or food processor, and buzz down to a smooth conistency. Add a little of the sour cream and tofu to each batch so they don't cool down the soup too much.
  9. Serve immediately with garlic bread or crumbled Gorgonzola as a garnish.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

That looks so yummy!