Ever since I stumbled across the Lee Bros. new cookbook at Barnes & Noble I have been dying to try this recipe (among others). But when it's bitter cold outside, nothing appeals to me quite as much as a nice piping hot bowl of soup. So when I received The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor as a Christmas present last year, I knew I had to try their Butternut Squash Soup with Rosemary. Butternut squash soup is one of my absolute favorites and I have been dying for a new recipe to try. But then the winter got away from me. And soup is not exactly good summer-fare. So I waited until it finally got cold again before I made it. Since today was in the mid-60's and rainy it was perfect soup weather.
I'm not going to say that the soup was disappointing. But it wasn't the best squash soup we have ever made. I had a butternut squash from the grocery and a buttercup squash from the CSA. I have never cooked (or to my knowledge, eaten) a buttercup squash before. And in this soup I'm not certain that I could say how a buttercup squash tastes compared to a butternut squash. I know that the soup wasn't as sweet as I had expected it to be. And I know that I prefer a squash soup with a bit of heat or curry, to this version with country ham, buttermilk and rosemary. Part of the problem with this soup is that I felt like the flavors never really melded together. It wasn't sweet from the squash or tangy from the buttermilk. And the country ham didn't give it that deep, salty flavor I expected. Instead it just tasted a little muddled. It had potential, but it didn't quite make it.
Recipe after the jump!
Buttercup Squash Soup with Rosemary
The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor
By Matt & Ted Lee
1 tbsp evoo
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1/3 cup country ham or Serrano ham, finely diced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 2lb. buttercup squash (or butternut squash), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice (roughly 4 cups)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk, plus more for garnish
freshly ground pepper
Pour evoo into a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add rosemary, ham, and garlic. Stir constantly until garlic is fragrant but not browning, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add squash and stir for 30 seconds to coat squash with oil. Cook for another minute. Add 3 cups of water and cover the skillet. Turn heat to medium-high and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add salt. Cover the pot and allow to cook, covered, until the squash is tender, about 7 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until almost smooth. A few chunks of squash and ham should still be visible. Add buttermilk and stir to incorporate.