On a recent self-righteous trip to the grocery store, I decided to be healthy and came home with a giant butternut squash. Once home, I realized I have no idea what one does with such a thing.
SOUP! Eureka. Soups are a great way to try new ingredients. The slow cooking gives you loads of time to correct seasonings and mellow out weird textures, and you can always throw in something familiar to offset a funky flavor. Soups are so easy peasy that I decided to be extra adventurous and add a parsnip. Parsnips are ugly white veggies with a mild oniony flavor. They look a bit like the grizzled grandpa of the carrot, but are very very tasty in soups or other slow-cooked dishes. The sweetness of the squash and the bite of the parsnip balance out nicely, and make a super healthy winter time meal.
Don’t fret, the recipe is a lot shorter than my soup-lovin’ ramble. This stuff is BURSTING with vitamins, takes very little effort, and is an unbelievable neon orange color. Happy days.
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into one inch pieces
1 small parsnip, peeled and cut into one inch pieces
1 yellow or white onion, peeled and cut into one inch pieces
::Note:: You will be pureeing the soup in a blender. The dice on these vegetables does not need to be perfect at all, just keep the pieces in a somewhat uniform size to ensure an even cooking time.
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
broth/stock/water (You need enough to cover the veggies in a large pot. I used 4 cups of chicken broth and 4 cups of water because I like thin, sippable soups. If you like it thicker, use just enough to cover. If you use vegetable broth or water this is a completely vegan recipe.)
juice of half an orange
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
red pepper and salt, to taste
Bring the broth, squash, and parsnip to a boil in a large pot. Lower heat to a simmer and set timer for 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, add the onion pieces. After 30 minutes, check for doneness. Squash should pierce easily with a fork and the onions should be transparent. Turn off heat.
Throw the peeled, whole garlic in the blender. Scoop all of the vegetables from the pot and add to the blender with a few spoonfuls of cooking liquid. If you’re brave and have a big blender, feel free to pour the whole mixture in. It doesn’t matter if the broth goes into the blender or not, just do what you gotta do to get a smooth mixture.
Pour the mix back in the pot. Add the curry powder, orange juice, and salt and red pepper to taste. Return to a simmer, stir, and serve.