A-Z Project: B is for BUTTERNUT SQUASH

>As in: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Chorizo

There are a few letters in this project that are gonna be tough choices like kicking someone off Top Chef with only 3 left. B is one of those letters. Since I’m trying to stick with seasonal ingredients/dishes as much as possible I decided to go with butternut squash. I really wanted to do bacon for B but c’mon; probably 1/2 the savory dishes I’m going to create will involve bacon so no need to highlight it. Beef was considered, buffalo, beans, blackberry, blood orange…the list is deep, that’s for sure. But, butternut squash was gonna be a good choice. It’s an ingredient I never cook with, it’s local/seasonal, there are good recipes out there for it, so I went with it and have no regrets. But damn: how could I pass up bacon like that?

There are a ton of recipes out there for a classic butternut squash soup so I just made my own. The components of a soup like this are pretty simple and as with anything it comes down to how everything tastes so we’re gonna wing it.

What I really wanted in this dish was something to compliment the butternut squash. A soup like this is good but it could really do with some help; help from something that’s say…oh, I don’t know…not a vegetable?? Enter chorizo. Lovely, spicy, cured  chorizo. I could have done chorizo for C but C is quite possibly the most difficult letter in this project in terms of narrowing down the choices. More on that in the next A-Z post. Let’s get back to the task at hand.

The soup is a pretty simple list of ingredients: butternut squash, celery, onion, carrot, stock, fresh thyme. Roast the butternut squash until it’s fork tender then scoop it out and throw it in a stock pot with the other veggies you sauteed while the oven was doing it’s roast thing, add some chicken stock, boil it for a few minutes and you’re done. Next is the fun part: immersion blender. Blend it up until it’s silky smooth, serve it up with the chorizo you crisped up in a fry-pan and you’ve got a damn good dinner.

I’m really pleased with this soup. It was crazy simple but as with most simple things, it was delicious. I really enjoy the balance of opposites in a dish; it really makes each individual ingredient that much better. The onions and butternut squash were really sweet but then throw in the uber-salty and spicy chorizo and it was heaven. The crisped up chorizo also played nicely with the really silky smooth consistency of the soup so that was an added bonus.

Oh and I screwed up the photo shoot on this one. The camera was dead from a day of shooting when I went to snap photos of the cooking process so I plugged in the battery and got enough juice for a couple photos and really only liked the one you see here; next time you’ll get more…promise.

I’d give you the recipe, but frankly I don’t really have one. Just make your own; it’s ultra-easy and pretty hard to screw up. I do highly recommend roasting the butternut squash, though, as it really pulls out that sweetness and the edges near the skin get caramelized and intensify the sweetness of the butternut, which as Martha would say “is a good thing.”

Not looking forward to the hard decision that will be the letter C.

Until next time…

Chow

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