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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash Ginger Soup

There's little I love more than roasted garlic. I can eat it straight out of the oven, burning my tongue because I'm so impatient. So when I had a butternut squash to cook, and I found A Bushel of What's roasted squash soup with roasted garlic, I knew that was what I'd be making. It's roasty goodness all together.

The picture on that page alone was enough to make me salivate. I wish I'd taken it. Mmm, roastiness.

Roasted vegetables are usually a cool weather comfort food. But the weather in Los Angeles has been really strange. We've had spring-like temps all winter, and then really cold rains as spring finally approaches. Roasted vegetables are perfect for those weird days.

And while the pictures on Nicole's site are beautiful, I didn't really follow her recipe. I wanted my roasted squash and garlic mixed together, but I also wanted something else. Something zingy.

Looking around my kitchen for inspiration, I spied the candied ginger. And then it all came together. Adding freshly zested ginger gave a nice bite to it. Exactly what my roasted concoction needed.

Later, when shooting the pictures, the soup-scape was a bit too bland (yes, I did just make up the word "soup-scape"). That's when the candied ginger came back into play for its cameo. And then I began dipping it in the soup like it was a party dip. And couldn't stop. The sweet butternut squash and peppery candied ginger came together so nicely.

If fresh ginger isn't available, add a tablespoon or so of powdered ginger. Either way, it brought a nice zing to the soup.


And to your mouth. Mmmm, zingy!




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Roasted Garlic & Butternut Squash Ginger Soup
Roasted vegetables make a savory soup, the addition of ginger adds a nice zip!
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • 1 large shallot, or 2 small, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (about 1 inch)
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock (depending on your preference)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degreees. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle each half with about one tablespoon of oil each. Lie face down on a lined baking sheet.2. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Slice the top 1/2 inch of the head to expose the individual cloves. Place in foil, drizzle with just a bit of olive oil on the garlic and wrap the foil around the head. Place on the baking sheet with the squash. 3. Bake both the squash and garlic together for about 45-60 minutes. When the squash skin begins to wrinkle and the edges brown, they're done (and so is the garlic, most likely). Allow to cool.4. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and sauté the shallots and ginger zest over medium heat until the shallots are softened and just beginning to take on color. Remove from heat.5. Once the squash has cooled, remove the skin (should come off fairly easily) and cube. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the bulb. Put the squash, garlic, and sautéed ginger and shallots in a blender with about 2 cups of stock (do this in batches if necessary, or use an immersion blender). Add more or less stock if you prefer a thin or thick soup.6. Warm soup in a pot if necessary and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with your favorite topping (cream or candied ginger are two excellent options) and serve hot or cold. This is even tastier the next day, after the flavors have married overnight.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: About 6 cups

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