I’d like to be able to tell you that I meticulously plan out what I’m going to cook in advance; that I’m super organized and constantly have an up to the minute grocery list with me; that I am the queen of menu-planning and all attendant things. Well, I could tell you all of that, but I’d be lying. Badly. Most of my cooking and meals come out of utility, really. Necessity is the mother of invention and all that. When you live at least an hour away from any kind of real store, you have to stock up way in advance. Then you have to deal with the fun refrigerator game, “what looks like it’s going to last the longest?!”. So when you happen to buy 2lbs of peeled and chopped organic butternut squash because it was on sale for $2 and that’s so much cheaper than actually buying and hacking up a squash yourself, then you have to deal with the resulting reality: what the frack am I going to do with 2lb of squash? Easy answer: make soup. If it were up to me, I would have curried or “Thai-d” it up, spice-wise. However, Chief Taste Tester would object to this. Apparently I have to take his tastes into consideration. How rude! So I went the warm and comforting route, livening it up at the end with the last of my fresh cilantro. I’m going to tell the truth – the cilantro does give it a little green tinge, but if not a looker, this squash and cilantro soup IS very tasty. Plus the squash makes it all creamy and stuffs. Perfect for Fall, I’d say.
This is a versatile little number. Easy enough to make on a weeknight, great doubled up as a big batch on a weekend, or even good enough to serve as an appetizer, especially at Thanksgiving. There isn’t really much of a reason NOT to make it!
This really is soup making for dummies – lord knows we all need a recipe or two like this in our arsenal! Preheat your oven to 400F to start. Next, dice up half an onion (more if you like!) and toss it – along with your butternut squash cubes – in a bowl with all herbs and spices except the cilantro and red pepper flakes, plus a little oil. Spread this mixture out in a single layer on a lined baking tray.
Roast those suckers until soft, about 30 – 35 minutes. Remove them from the baking tray and dump them in a saucepan along with whatever stock it is you’re using. Bring almost to a boil.
Just as your pan is about to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and add your fresh cilantro. Cook until heated through.
Now just blend that sucker with an immersion blender, serve and garnish with red pepper to taste. Yum!
- Preheat oven to 400F; toss cubed squash, onion and spices together with a little oil of your choice.
- Spread the mixture out on a lined baking tray in an even layer. Roast for 30 - 35 minutes, until soft.
- Add contents of baking tray to large saucepan; pour in your stock and bring almost to a boil.
- Add fresh cilantro and simmer until heated through.
- Blend in the saucepan with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Serve garnished with red pepper flakes to taste.
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