By Jeff Potter
A recipe excerpt from Cooking for Geeks
2 cups (660g) butternut squash, peeled, cubed, and roasted (about 1 medium squash)
2 cups (470g) chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
1 small (130g) yellow onion, diced and sautéed
1/2 teaspoon (1g) salt (adjust to taste)
Step 1: Peel the butternut squash and then coat it with olive oil. Sprinkle it with salt, and roast it in the oven at a temperature around 400-425°F / 200-220°C until it begins to brown.
To cut thick gourds such as squash and pumpkins, use a large chef’s knife and a mallet. First, slice off a thin piece of the gourd so that it lies flat and doesn’t roll, then gently tap the knife blade through the gourd.
Step 2: Purée the squash and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or with an immersion blender. When you go to purée the ingredients, hold back some of the squash and some of the stock, taste the purée, and see which you think it needs. Want it thicker? Add more squash. Thinner? Add more stock.
This soup by itself is very basic. Garnish with whatever else you have on hand that you think might go well, such as garlic croutons and bacon. Or top with a small dab of cream, some toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries to give it a feeling of Thanksgiving. How about a teaspoon of maple syrup, a few thin slices of beef, and some fresh oregano? Chives, sour cream, and cheddar cheese? Why not! Instead of purchasing items to follow a recipe exactly, try using leftover ingredients from other meals to complement the squash soup.
If you’re in a rush, you can “jump-start” the squash by microwaving it first. Peel and quarter the squash, using a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then, cube it into 1-2″ / 3-5 cm pieces, drop it into a glass baking pan that’s both oven and micro- wave safe, and nuke it for four to five minutes to partially heat the mass. Remove from microwave, coat the squash with olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt, and roast it in a preheated oven until done, about 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re not in a rush, you can skip the peeling step entirely: cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, add oil and salt, roast it for about an hour (until the flesh is soft), and use a spoon to scoop it out.
Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter
Win a Free E-Book!
This holiday season, CRAFT is all about bringing fresh gluten-free ideas to the communal table. Add your own by submitting your gluten-free recipe photos to our CRAFT flickr pool with the tag “craftglutenfree” for a random chance to win a free e-book version of Cooking for Geeks!
Next up tomorrow is Jeff Potter’s gluten-free rosemary mashed potatoes from Cooking for Geeks.
About the Author:
Jeff Potter has done the cubicle thing, the startup thing, and the entrepreneurial thing, and through it all maintained his sanity by cooking for friends. He studied computer science and visual art at Brown University.