Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

February 4: National Homemade Soup Day

At one of Highlander’s work conference dinners, we met a fellow foodie, Sol S., who aspires to write a comfort food cookbook. He wants to feature recipes that are homemade, healthy and hearty. He shared with us his butternut squash soup recipe to try out in our own kitchen. It was delicious and simply satisfying! Butternut squash soup is comfort food for cold weather and is also appropriate for National Homemade Soup Day.

Recipe

(From Sol S.)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash (we used 2 12-ounce bags of squash already cut and cubed)
  • 1 sweet onion, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic with skins on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup sweet corn

Directions

Peel the butternut squash, cut the ends off, remove the seeds and dice into 1-inch cubes. Peel and quarter the onion, removing the ends. In a large bowl, mix the squash, onions and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Place on a foil-lined baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes (after 30 minutes, stir to roast evenly). Remove from the oven and discard the garlic skins.

Butternut Squash Soup

In a large pot, place the roasted vegetables (squash, onions and garlic) and cover with the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Let cool. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. In a blender, puree in batches. Put the pureed vegetables back in the pot and simmer with the sweet corn until heated through. Serve immediately in soup bowls.

Butternut Squash Soup

Notes

  • Sol S. garnishes his butternut squash soup with cooked shrimp or crabmeat or shredded chicken.  The sweet corn adds texture to this recipe. Good luck to him as he authors his project!
  • Search our blog for other soup recipes.

Okroshka (окрошка)

(Russian Cold Cucumber Soup)

Okroshka

February 4: National Homemade Soup Day

A Russian friend of a friend came to our house blessing in Illinois and was kind enough to share a cultural dish for our special occasion. Kristina Y., whom we met through our Ukrainian friend Olga W., made a refreshing cold cucumber soup called okroshka. They explained that it is eaten during the short summer months in Russia and Ukraine.

Although it is still winter in the northern hemisphere, and hot homemade soups are on most menus, okroshka may still be enjoyed where the weather is warm (such as in the southern hemisphere).

For a refreshing Russian soup, try okroshka for National Homemade Soup Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Bella Online)

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced (green parts only)
  • 2 sprigs fresh dill, minced
  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups cooked ham, chopped
  • salt to taste

Directions

Chop the cucumber, slice the green onions, mince the dill and chop the eggs. Place everything in a large bowl.

Okroshka

Pour in the water. Mix in the sour cream. Chop the ham and add it to the soup. Season with salt. Chill in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to blend. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with additional dill (optional). Serve cold.

Okroshka

Notes

  • This soup is traditionally made with kvass (a fermented beverage made from rye bread). However, it is difficult to find kvass here so it is fine to use water as the liquid in the soup. Kvass adds a unique flavor to the soup.
  • Instead of ham, sausages or other flavorful cooked meats, such as lamb, beef or chicken, may be used in this recipe.
  • Sometimes ice cubes are added to the recipe to ensure a very chilled soup.
  • Thanks to Olga W. for the ceramic figurine from Ukraine which we used in the final food photo above.
  • January is also National Soup Month.

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