So for this challenge, I wanted to go the soup route for a couple of reasons. First, I was thinking of a butternut squash and champagne soup I had about 15 years ago at a local restaurant and winery - the Renault Winery in Hammonton, NJ. This soup was so amazing that I remember it 15 years later. Alas, they have changed the restaurant since then and don't have the amazing meals they once served. And after perusing the recipe sites, I was unable to find anything that resembled this soup. I had to give it up.
Second, I wanted something on the sweet side, so I found this recipe at http://www.allrecipes.com/ - Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup. I read a bunch of the reviews and made some changes accordingly. This is what I ended up with:
Butternut and Acorn Squash Soup
• 1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
• 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
• 1 quart chicken broth
• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• ground cinnamon to taste (optional)
• fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray PAM on the cut side of the squash halves and place cut side down in a baking dish. Bake 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Scoop the pulp from the skins. Discard skins.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and sauté the onion until tender.
3. In a blender or food processor, blend the squash pulp, onion, broth, brown sugar, cream cheese, pepper, and cinnamon until smooth. This may be done in several batches.
4. Transfer the soup to a pot over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Garnish with parsley, and serve warm.
|My starting ingredients in an artsy-fartsy Fall picture on the deck. The Pudge will be turning that pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern this Halloween Weekend.|
|Butternut and Acorn Squash from the local Produce Junction.|
|They were tough to cut, but had great color.|
|I sprayed the cut side with PAM and roasted them in the oven for almost an hour.|
|Here is my soup in all it's crock-potted glory with a chopped parsley garnish.|
|Here the fractured-finger Mrs is ladling the creamy goodness in what could be called our block soup kitchen.|
|MMMMMM - soupy goodness!|
|One neighbor made these "lady fingers". They were a little dry but cool to look at. The kids liked them (too much nose picking going on though).|
|There was also pumpkin painting for the kids.|
|Followed by marshmallow roasting in a fire pit in the center of the cul-de-sac. Probably not the smartest thing to do with all the leaves around, but we had been drinking and it seemed right at the time.|
Anyway, the soup was a huge hit. Sweet (but not too), creamy and hot. You could also taste the onion and cinnamon in the background. I had at least five people ask for the recipe (which I promptly emailed the next day). If I were to make it again, I might add a little bourbon to the onion saute step because I think that would add nice flavor.