Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recipe for Butternut Squash Soup

Don't anyone faint, but I am actually going to (at least try to) start blogging again!

Why you may ask?

Simply because I miss it and because of my passion for local food and wanting to share it with like minded people AND because funny stuff happens in my life.  I like to share these stories to give others a chuckle every now and again.

So here goes...

First I have to catch some of you up on an exciting local foods cooperative that has opened in Mitchell.  If you are not familiar with Hometown Harvest, here is the website.  If you live in the area and haven't been there... what are you waiting for?

And their Facebook page:

So for this post's recipe...

I made it last night so let me try to recall the recipe.  I rarely cook with a recipe book because I hate to be told what to do and don't like to follow rules.  I am a meal makin' renegade!

Let's see... how should I do this?  Do you want the instructions first or should I do it more in a recipe fashion?

Let's try to do the recipe fashion.

What you need:
1/2 stick butter (PS, I rarely measure so you won't need measuring cups!)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
4oz pkg Shiitake Mushrooms (sliced)
4 cups or so of Chicken Stock (homemade or organic)
1 or so cup of white wine (not necessarily necessary, but I think it adds nice flavor and is nice to sip on while you are making the soup!)
1/2 to 1 cup sour cream (told you I don't measure, I just spooned some in)
1/2 to 1 cup cream cheese (again, just spoon some in)
Curry powder

I think that's it.

In your favorite soup pot (please tell me you have one, if not, get one!  I love my Lodge Dutch Oven 6 Quart Porcelain Enamel, google it) melt the butter, add the onion chopped and saute until translucent.  Add minced garlic cloves and saute for a few more minutes. Add sliced mushrooms.  Should smell heavenly at this point.  Saute some more, probably 3 or 4 minutes.  Who knows how long, maybe you can take a couple of sips of wine, and then it'll be done!

Okay, time to get serious.  Sorry.

Add the squash and saute a little longer, probably 3 or 4 sips...

Now add the chicken broth and wine.  Put the lid on and simmer until squash is softened and can be mashed easily.  Probably 20 minutes depending on how big your "cubes" are.  When the squash is cooked, puree everything in a blender (I use my mother's avocado green blender from the late 70's, works like a charm!).  DO NOT put too much in the blender at one time or the heat from the soup will cause the lid to sky-rocket off like a skyrocket in flight and you will have puree all over the ceiling!  This should be done in "batches".

Pour the puree back in the pot. Add the sour cream and the cream cheese (which you should cube so it will melt faster).  Season with pepper and curry powder.  Heat to serving temperature.

We toasted some jalapeno cheddar bread, buttered it and ate it with the soup.  It was delicious!!!

Okay, want to try it?!  Well, you can get all the ingredients (except the wine, which you really don't even need) for the soup at Hometown Harvest.  Well and the Jalapeno Cheddar Bread, which can be picked up at the Scottsbluff Winter Farmers' Market at Mamma Jane's Artisan Breads.

And just to highlight the LOCAL PRODUCTS used, here is a recap:

* The star of the show, Butternut Squash from Wind Harvest Farms, Henry, NE
* The co-star, the Shiitake Mushrooms from Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Ft. Collins, CO
* The supporting cast, Garlic from Mitchell Valley Farms, Mitchell, NE
* Chicken Broth made from pastured poultry that we raised.  We don't have any for sale, BUT you can purchase pastured poultry from Lazy W Diamond Ranch (Banner County, NE) at Hometown Harvest
* AND last but not least, the special guest star, Jalapeno Cheddar Bread from Mamma Jane's Artisan Breads, Huntley, WY