Sunday, October 2, 2011

Buttercup Squash Soup with Rosemary

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.

Ladle soup in four bowls.  Loosely stir 1 tbsp of buttermilk (if desired) into each bowl as a garnish.  Season with fresh ground black pepper.  Serve immediately.

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