What you see here is a picture of a butternut squash I made the mistake of trying to peel.
Well, I don’t care what Ina G. says. Don’t attempt to peel a butternut squash before it’s cooked. As a friend of mine said, it’s like wrestling with a rock. The upper body exercise is such that you will require physical therapy afterwards. Just cut the damn thing into chunks and roast ‘em, THEN peel ‘em and proceed with your recipe.
Partly because I’m a lazy-ass, and partly because I like it this way, I roasted the butternut squash, pureed it and ate it, perfectly simple, just like that, as a side dish. I hoarded the leftovers for soup. (Nothing like getting two side dishes for the aggravation of one!) Here’s the not-so-challenging recipe for roasting:
Roasted Butternut Squash
2 butternut squashes, about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds each
Kosher salt and pepper
Yield: About 4-5 cups when pureed.
1. Preheat the oven to 400º F.
2. Cut one squash in half crosswise. Cut the half that contains the seeds in half and scopp out all the seeds and other junk that’s in there. Cut the other half of the squash into quarters lengthwise. Repeat with the other squash.
3. Place the squash pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle the pieces with 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and use your hands to rub the oil over all sides of the squash. Sprinkle the squash lightly with salt and pepper. Roast it until it’s tender, about 35-40 minutes.
4. When the squash has cooled slightly, you can peel it, puree it in the food processor (adding a little chicken broth or cream to thin it if you want), eat it warm as a side dish (reheating it in a double boiler if you need to), and use the leftovers for soup.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
3-4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 cups roasted, pureed butternut squash
¼ cup coconut milk
Yield: About 5-6 cups
1. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium low heat. When the butter is melted, add the leeks, curry powder, salt and pepper and cook until the leeks are tender, about ten minutes. Add the ginger and cook for another minute.
2. Add the broth and squash to the pot and stir to combine. Raise the heat slightly and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the flavors are well combined. Stir in the coconut milk.
3. Puree the soup in batches in your food processor. Taste the soup and correct the seasoning if necessary. Reheat the soup and serve hot.
P.S. Also see The Squash Diaries 1: Pumpkin.