Sunday, October 4, 2009

In Love with all things squash!

So I have decided that this fall I am going to enjoy Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash and all of those nice fall/winter goodies. I think I am definitely in love with the Butternut squash.
I have made Risotto, Creamy Soup, Chocolates and Marshmallows! The creamy soup was a winner, my little boy enjoyed it as much as I did and so did my beloved neighbor, that came that night to help me with my newsletter editing :-).
The recipe goes little bit like this, as usual I never write down my formulas:
Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Creamy Soup
6 cups of cubed sugar pumpkin and butternut squash, seeded and peeled.
1/2 small white onion chopped
3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of evaporated milk (not condensed)
2 to 3 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
2 Tbsp of butter (optional)
2-3 Tbsp of Amaretto liquor
Salt and white pepper to taste

Saute' the onion with the olive oil. Add the cubed pumpkin/butternut squash. Let it cook for about 5 minuets on medium heat, add the Amaretto liquor, let it evaporate. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vegetable or chicken stock and let it cook covered until tender. Add the butter and the evaporated milk, puree' with an immersion blender, or into a food processor, until creamy and smooth. Let it cook for about 5 more minutes. Enjoy hot or warm. Croutons would be good for some crunch. Keep in mind that I made this recipe as I went so you might need to add some extra liquid to obtain the consistency you like. This is a very easy way to create a nice elegant creamy soup (vellutata) with a different variety of vegetable. Cauliflowers make a wonderful soup as well.

As for the sweet version, those truffles came out pretty yummy. I have to admit I am not a big fan of Pumpkin Pie, but i do love the pumpkin flavor with fresh spices in chocolates, marshmallows or pumpkin bread! I was so impressed when I saw how the puree' turned out after I barbecued the Butternut squash, that I make sure I always have some in the kitchen now. Microwave would be the next best way to cook it, but barbecued or roasted would be better, the flavor is incredible. That's how I did mine; cut in half the pumpkin or butternut squash (or any other type you like) , take the seeds out, cover in aluminium foil and grill on the barbecue until tender. Then just spoon the fleshy orange pulp and puree it in a food processor until nice and smooth. Its perfect for baby food, my 9 months old son loves it, is naturally sweet and creamy. It can be stored in the freezer, in containers or freezer bags in small amount, for easy use. I will dig out my pumpkin bread recipe and post it next time, is the same as my banana bread and uses whole wheat flour and raisins, I love it.

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