Monday, December 1, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup with Pepitas

This seasonal soup is quite easy to make with a short list of ingredients and completely vegan. Butternut squash is relatively easy to peel compared to the other thicker skinned gourds and can be done with a good sturdy vegetable peeler. Once it's peeled this vegetable has a lot of flesh that is very versatile with a nutty sweetness. I used half of the squash for soup and the other half as a side dish the next night with some portobello mushrooms.

Garnish the soup with pepitas (sunflower seeds), parsley and truffle oil. Garnishing is always optional but it does add texture and flavor.

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe:
1 whole yellow onion large diced
6 clover garlic, smashed
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups diced butternut squash
salt and pepper
sweet paprika to taste

4 T sunflower seeds, toasted
4 T italian parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
truffle oil or olive oil to cover

Heat a medium sauce pan/pot, drizzle 2 T olive oil and sweat the onions and garlic.
Pour in wine (this is optional as well) and simmer until almost dry.
Add butternut squash and 4 cups water.
When it comes to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until squash is cooked through and very soft with poked.
Remove from heat and puree with a blender. A handheld blender is perfect for this job.
Adjust seasoning with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sweet paprika.
While butternut squash is cooking prepare the pepita garnish.
Toast pepitas on a dry hot skillet, stirring often so they do not burn. They will brown slightly and start to pop a bit.
Add chopped fresh parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper and olive oil or truffle oil.

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