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Monday, October 19, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger

I must admit right off the bat that the photo above is not actually the ginger squash soup but it is a picture of my other favorite, curried butternut squash soup. I ended up not getting a photo of the ginger squash soup but - it looks pretty much the same, a beautiful warm velvety orange color which looked spectacular with the chopped fresh flatleaf parsley garnish (also not pictured). This recipe was recommended to me by Chris who said it was one of Karen's favorite soups and I regard both of their foodie opinions highly so I was really looking forward to trying it. I love pumpkin pies and acorn squash with butter and brown sugar so I thought this recipe which combined fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick would be right up my alley and not too unusual.

I followed the recipe exactly except I didn't measure my two giant squashes so I think they were way more than called for and maybe my chicken stock was not salty so I did end up adding some salt and also a few splenda packets to sweeten it up a bit.

The purpose of making this soup was for the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers soup exchange/Oktoberfest beer tasting night. I have been part of the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers (a band of ladies who reside in Michigan and blog about food related topics) for a few months but this was my first chance to participate in a gathering, yay! I made the soup (and ginger brownies which I was also bringing) on Thursday night and packed everything up to go to work on Friday. I work in Milford and this event was in Ann Arbor so I was going to head over right after work before making the long trek home. Well, Friday just wasn't my best day. I started out running late (no surprise for a Cookies for a Cause morning) ... but then I realized about 40 minutes into my commute that I was missing one important item.... soup? no, that was here,.. crockpot? nope, had that,... spoon, extra bowls and parsley garnish? check,... 6 batches of ginger brownies? check... purse? check. Stupid laptop so I can do some work at work? Argh! No laptop! Unbelievable. I had to turn around, drive 40 minutes, and then drive another hour back to work. I would have considered just working from home but that would waste all those cookies and I needed to be in A^2 that night anyway.

That wasn't the end of my bad luck however! The soup exchange was at 7 so I worked until 6 and made up some time there, and walked out to my car with enough time to stop and get some of my favorite beer, Weihenstephaner hefeweissbier and head over to partay..... I started to drive away and then realized my car wasn't handling very well. DAMNIT. I knew it was another flat tire. Totally flat by the feel of it. I pulled off into the lobby parking lot and sure enough, my stupid tire was completely flat. This is incredibly infuriating because this is my 4th flat tire in three years, plus that was my 1 new tire.

What a drag..... I called AAA and they offered to come within an hour but luckily, the nice security men at the proving grounds hooked me up and found the metal shard in my stupid tire and put the spare on for me. I wonder which of my three times between work and home had given me the gift of the metal shard.. oh well at least I didn't get a blowout on the expressway.

This story is getting long so I'll hurry it up as best I can... I got the beer and headed out on my way about 40 minutes behind schedule, and totally ended up getting lost probably due to talking on the phone and it being dark and apparently I was looking for a dirt road - but didn't know it. I ended up in downtown AA (not correct) and that's when my out-of-gas "ding" went off. Awesome. No time for getting gas and there were no gas stations anyway so I had my dad help me over the phone find the house (on an empty tank). Cindy and Alison nicely helped me adjust my directions after the party so that I would hit a gas station before heading home, but that was only after I was lost in their subdivision and went around Loch Alpine circle a few times. Awesome, gotta love being lost twice on an empty tank in the middle of nowhere! My dad helped me over the phone again and I eventually made it to said gas station..... to find that it was closed. Awesome again! It took me 40 minutes to get a few miles to this closed gas station so this night was really turning out awesome. I luckily didn't get on the expressway and found a Meijer gas station a little bit down the way... then it was the long trek home on my stupid spare tire so that I could only go 60mph. Luckily my mom talked to me on the phone so I had no trouble staying awake (it had been a loooong week.. and AA-Troy sure is a boring drive).

Anyway the actual soup exchange and beer/oktoberfest party went great and it was nice to meet some other MLFB ladies. We all brought portions of different soups and food home with us and everything was delicious. I can't wait to get all of the recipes. I look forward to the next event.. sounds like a holiday cookie exchange! At least I got all my bad luck out of my system, the next party should go swimmingly. :)

Here's the recipe, try the soup, it's tasty! And join the MLFB if you're a Michigan Lady Food Blogger. :)

Butternutsquash Soup with Ginger
As seen on here!

Yield: Serves 6

2 butternut squash (about 4 3/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
Chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil baking sheet. Place squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. Using paring knife, remove peel from squash; discard peel. Cut squash into 2-inch pieces. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover pot and cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon.

Working in batches, purée soup in blender. - Or just use your submersible blender if you have one, which makes this incredibly easy and no need to dirty another dish. :) I added a little salt and splenda to taste.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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