Butternut Squash Me

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When I read this assignment I was excited because I love soups. They are my comfort food especially now that it’s getting cold.

I first made butternut squash soup about 3 years ago after watching an episode of Jamie Oliver. Over the years I’ve stayed true to the recipe with the exception of a few tweaks. I’ve omitted celery because I’m not a fan of cooked celery. I’ve also made this recipe with bell peppers, sweet potatoes and coconut milk.

One of the reasons I love this soup (besides the flavour) is because it’s so versatile. I’ve added leftovers to pasta sauce, sauces for meats, and I’ve also used it as spread for toast.

For this assignment I decided to roast the vegetables rather than cook them on the stove top.

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Serving: 4

2 cups butternut squash, rough diced (peeled and deseeded)

1 red onion

1 carrot

2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

2 sprigs of thyme

1 sprig rosemary

1 tsp chili peppers

2 cups chicken stock

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped parsley

Salt & pepper (to taste)

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  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F. Roughly chop onion, and carrot. Add to chopped butternut squash and add garlic and thyme. Toss with oil and season. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Add rosemary & chili peppers 5 minutes before removing from oven.

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* Toss vegetables every 5-7 minutes to achieve even browning.

  1. Once vegetables are done let cool for 10 minutes. Using blender combine roasted vegetables with chicken stock. Pulse until everything is combined.

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  1. Pour soup in a pot on stove over medium-low heat to reheat. Season to taste.
  2. Mix 1 tbsp olive oil with chopped parsley and serve with desired garnish.

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Suggested Garnish

1. Spicy Shrimp

1 cup 61/70 shrimp

1 tbsp flour

1 tsp chili powder

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper (to taste)

Season shrimp and toss with flour. In sautee pan heat oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes each side.

2. Croutons

2 slices whole wheat bread

1 tsp vegetable oil

Slice bread into desired shape. Toss with oil and place under broiler until golden brown.

3. Poached Egg

1 fresh egg

1 tbsp vinegar

Poached egg

Crack egg in ramekin or cup. Add vinegar to saucier and bring to a simmer. Create a gentle whirlpool in water. Slowly pour the egg into the water. Turn off heat and cover for 4-5 minutes (depending on the size of the egg). Carefully remove egg with slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain off excess water.

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My sensory evaluation is as following:

The Look: Bright orange in colour with hints of brown due to the caramelization of the roasted vegetables.

The Smell: The house smelt like roasted vegetables. Once I blended all the vegetables together it smelt more pumpkin-like.

The Touch: I made the soup thick. Some recipes make the soup thin but I prefer it thick. It had the texture of porridge.

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The Taste: Nutty and sweet with a hint of spiciness. I made the soup for my mother and I. She enjoyed it and said it made her feel, “warm and cozy”.

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Reflection

Because I’ve made this soup a few times I didn’t face any challenges this time around. From past experiences I’ve learnt to wait for the vegetables to cool before blending and also to use room temperature stock. The first time I tried to blend everything hot I had a little accident in the kitchen.

What I would try differently next time is to use a mixture of squashes. I would use a blend of butternut with winter and acorn squash.

What I learnt from this experience (both cooking and the blog post) is that I’m subconsciously applying what I’ve learnt the last few weeks in regards to the different cooking methods. Instead of just cooking something I realize I think about the reasoning behind how I cook certain things in order to achieve a particular flavour. For example, I once made this soup by using moist heat to roast the vegetables. I noticed I had to add more seasoning because some of the flavour was lost during the cooking process. Roasting the vegetables with dry heat concentrates their natural flavours and I also love the caramelization. With this method I didn’t have to add a lot of seasoning and the flavour of the butternut squash was more prominent.

Overall I enjoyed these blog assignments because it forced me to more analytical when it comes to taste, which is something I will apply to my future endeavours (where ever that takes me).

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Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Jamie Oliver

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/superb-squash-soup-with-the-best-parmesan-croutons/

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