Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mystery Squash Soup

Ok, so this is actually a soup I made last summer. I froze a batch and we thawed it out for lunch the other day. There is a funny story about this soup. When we started gardening last year we first set up a compost bin in the fall. We are really into the compost experience. I call it that, because Frank and I see it as though we are offering sacrifices to the garden gods. Frank actually really gets into it. I think one of his favorite things in life is to go outside and stir and hack at the compost.
Jump ahead to the spring and there is a squash-like vine growing out of the compost. I said we should chop it up and put it back in, because I don’ know what it is, Frank wants to grow it. He usually gets his way without too much fuss. So the vine grew and squashes appeared, but they didn’t look like any I had seen before let alone eaten. Remember, this is our compost, so we ate the things that went in there. We were at a local Mexican market and they had some squash called “White Squash” that looked identical to ours. Ah Ha! That’s what we must have, even though I never ate one before. I started to figure the squirrels planted it. Actually I am still waiting on the peanuts they hid to start growing.
So home we went and I started picking the squash figuring it was a summer squash variety. It was really very pretty. You can see it here in this photo with other goodies from our garden. It's the green things in the center.

I think the first thing I did was sauté it and it was really very good, with a mild squash flavor, similar to yellow squash. Then I started to give it away because we couldn’t eat it fast enough. Everybody loved it. One family friend couldn’t get enough of them. I think she may have even eaten it raw. I froze a bunch and made the soup you see above. Inevitably some were left on the vine and I forgot about them. I think we became busy with our eggplants. Well the mystery squash transformed into plain old Butternuts, which I eat a lot of! It should have been obvious…

I can’t suggest what to substitute for immature Butternut squash, but if you have some growing try them when young. A good replacement in fact, may be any summer squash.

Large chunks of chopped Mystery Squash (summer variety, pick your favorite, or green Butternut)
Onion chopped
Roasted corn kernels (TJ’s sells them frozen)
Minced rosemary
Minced garlic
Chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp bacon drippings
Smoked sea salt
Fresh black pepper
Black truffle oil (optional)

1. Heat bacon drippings in a large pot; add the onions, rosemary and garlic and sauté till soft.
2. Add the squash, corn and stock till it covers the ingredients. Bring to a boil and let simmer till the squash is soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. When cool, puree in a blender. It doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth.
4. To serve, reheat and if desired drizzle black truffle oil on top just before serving.

No comments: