Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Butternut Squash Dream

The soup...before the immersion blender

Tonight I had the missionaries over for dinner. Actually, let me start at about 8:30pm last night...I was standing on the overlook at the Golden Gate Bridge and my phone rings. It's the missionaries..."I wonder what they need," I thought. They were calling me to remind me that I had signed up to feed them the very next day! OH DANG! What in the world was I going to feed them? I scoured my kitchen and came up with a frozen ham bone, some frozen cubed butternut squash, onion, celery, carrots, a bunch of apples and some salad fixings. I had a plan. I'd make some soup, a salad, biscuits and an apple crisp.

The soup was going to be a hodge podge of vegetables and flavors that I figured would work together. After smelling the deliciousness simmering on the stove all day I tasted the fruits of my labor and almost fainted! My mouth was full of this rich, smoky and deep flavored broth. It was amazing! Here is the recipe for a spectacular, almost vegetarian soup!

Butternut Cauliflower Soup

1 large ham bone
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1.5 pounds chopped butternut squash
6 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 stalks celery, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
4 sprigs thyme
4 stalks flat leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
8-10 cups turkey or chicken stock
kitchen twine

1. In a large soup pot heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until onion is opaque, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add squash, carrots, celery, and ham bone. Pour enough stock over to cover the ham bone. Tie up the thyme, parsley and bay leaf with the kitchen twine. Bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer for 5-6 hours.
2. Remove herb bundle, ham bone and any meat bits from the broth. Add the mushrooms and cauliflower. Bring the soup back to a boil and cook until the mushrooms & cauliflower are soft.
3. Using and immersion blender, blend all of the vegetables until the soup is thick and smooth. If the mixture is too thick, feel free to add some warm broth.
4. Serve with a bit of parmesan cheese grated on top and some biscuits hot from the oven. Your family will swoon!

Serves 8

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