Friday, March 25, 2011


At the risk of sounding like a whiner, I've had it with winter.  I know, it's only March and I need to get a grip.  Just because humans have decided that March 20 was Spring doesn't mean Mother Nature is on board.  But ugh, enough already!

One of my favorite signs of Spring each year actually has nothing to do with nature, though.  Here in the Boston area, most locally owned ice cream places close for the winter; ours is no exception.  Near the beginning of March, Larry and I start driving by the shop and looking for the sign, "Spring is almost here!  Re-opening on ___________." This year, it was today!  So even though it was 40 degrees out, and even though it doesn't quite make the healthy list, we had ice cream for dinner.

On the off-chance that we got hungry after ice cream, I decided to use the last butternut squash we had from our CSA and make a creamy soup.  I had a few sprigs of basil left, and remembering how much I liked the basil in the butternut risotto, I decided to incorporate it.  This is another easy recipe, and the portions/times are kind of flexible. 

We didn't actually get hungry again but I gave the soup a taste, and I'm looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow!

Butternut Squash Soup with Basil
by Me

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes; about 7-8 cups
2 small or one large shallot, peeled and root end trimmed but not completely removed
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth, or water
water, to adjust thickness to taste
5 large basil leaves, or equivalent

Preheat oven to 425.  On a large sheet pan, toss the squash and shallots with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until squash is softened; about 25 minutes total depending on the size of your cubes.  During the last five to ten minutes of roasting, pour in 1/2-1 cup of the vegetable broth. 

Let squash cool for about 15-20 minutes.  Add to blender with 1 cup of broth and half of basil, and blend; if necessary, add more liquid to get blades going.  Mine used all of the broth, plus about a cup of water to make it our desired consistency. 

Pour into a saucepan and gently reheat over medium-low.  Before serving, chop the rest of the basil and add to the soup.  Voila--a creamy soup with out anything resembling cream!

3/27/2011: Had it for lunch yesterday; it was great!  The basil was a great addition.  This one's a keeper!

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