Archive for the ‘Squash’ Category

Spaghetti Squash on the grill

Right now we have fabulous small dark yellow spaghetti squash in the store.   Though you can bake, steam or roast these squashes, I love to throw them on the bbq.

Knock off the hard stem of the squash.  Sit the squash on the now stable stemless end and CAREFULLY cut the squash in half length wise.  If you don’t have the right knife or strength to cut through the squash, chuck it in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes to soften it up a bit.

After you have cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and in the hollow place a knob of butter, salt and pepper to taste, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and about a table spoon of water.

Place your squash halves on your bbq (shell side down), have the flame set to medium.

After about 20 minutes poke around in the squash with a fork.  If the flesh seems soft enough, it’s done!!

Pick up your squash halves with oven mitts or tongs.  It will be HOT.  Carefully scoop out the flesh from the 2 pieces into a bowl.  Mix up the flesh with the garlic and pepper that was in the cavity. You can enjoy the squash just like that, or at this point you can add your favourite meat sauce and mix it up like pasta spaghetti.

Enjoy!!!

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Butternut Squash Soup

The butternut is the squash with a booty.  It has a long body that ends in a big round bum that makes it easy to distinguish from other squash.   Its rich orange flesh is perfect for roasting, grilling, pan frying or making soup out of.  This soup takes very little time or effort to make, and is delightfully rich and creamy.

Peel and cube one butternut squash (To do this, I cut the bum from the body, sit the body down on a cutting board and peel it.  Then I can deal with the round portion of the squash that has seeds to remove etc)

Saute in butter or olive oil one large diced onion and 6 cloves of garlic in a large soup pot.

Add in the cubed butternut squash. Saute until the squash pieces start to caramelize a bit.  If you would like to at this point, I sometimes add in some curry powder to make a curried squash soup.

Add cracked black pepper to taste, stir it all up.

Add enough chicken stock to cover the contents of the pot by half an inch or so.

Turn down the heat and let everything simmer until the squash is soft.

Mash the contents of the pot with a potato masher, or blend using an immersion blender (careful not to splash hot soup on yourself)

The soup is now ready to eat!!  You can choose to add some milk, heavy cream, coconut milk, or sour cream in upon serving to adjust the soup’s texture to your liking.

Enjoy!

Cream of (insert vegetable name here) soup.

Cream of (insert vegetable name here) soup

Cream of veggie soups are ridiculously easy to make. It gets even easier if you have one of those stick hand held immersion blenders in your kitchen.

-Peel chop and sautee one onion and a few cloves of chopped garlic on medium heat. You can sautee it in olive oil, butter, margarine, whatever, it’s your soup, do as you will.

-Add about 4 cups of chopped veg of choice to the pot (broccoli works well, so does cauliflower, butternut squash, potato and leek, carrot, corn choose any one of them)

-I like to sautee the veg a bit, getting a little bit of caramelization going.

-Add a quarter tsp of black pepper if you like black pepper

-Add 4 cups (1 litre) of vegetable or chicken stock.

-Stir the whole thing up and let it simmer until your veg is cooked.
How long will it take? Depends on the veg, broccoli will be done in just 10-15 minutes, butternut squash will take longer. Test it with a fork to see how smushy things are getting.

-When your veg is soft, grab that immersion blender, plug it in and CAREFULLY start blending the veg that is cooking in the broth. You can keep your soup as chunky or make it as smooth as you would like. If you have no immersion blender you can mash everything up with a potato masher, or for a smoother texture, let the contents of the pot cool and put small batches in your blender to whisk things up.

-Return everything to the pot if you have removed things for blending

-At this point you can add dairy to make your soup as creamy as you would like. Sometimes I leave it as it and just serve it with a spoonful of yogurt or sour cream. If you are on a diet, low fat yogurt can add a nice thickness of flavour to the soup. Don’t care about the calories? A half a cup of cream will do nicely. Worried that you’ll do the wrong thing. Take a small scoop out of the pot, and try it with a little yogurt. Is it nice? No, try some with a little milk, or some cream, or some sour cream, or some creme fraiche. It’s your soup, make it how you like it.

-Taste your soup. Is it bland? Does it need more pepper? Is there a spice that you have a thought that might go well with this vegetable puree soup that you have made? I like to add some ginger to my carrot soup, sometimes corriander, sometimes I add some curry powder to my butternut squash or carrot soup. My mom likes to throw grated sharp cheddar cheese into everything (you can’t really disagree with a move like that).

Once you get the hang of it, you can churn out a pot of soup in half an hour while doing 5 other things. It’s really that easy.
Serve with toasted Ciabatta, or Alpine grain bread and tada! Lunch is served.