I cook better than I write

Friday, November 03, 2006

Squash and Soup

One of the reasons I like Fall is that I can start making delicious hot soups. The Brocolli rabe soup has a very delicate taste - it makes me think of spring for some reason.
If you are not sure what brocolli rabe is check out Cook's Thesaurus:
broccoli raab aka broccolirab aka broccoli de rape aka rape aka raab aka rapini aka cima di rapa aka choy sum aka Chinese flowering cabbage - this slightly bitter cooking green has long been popular in Italy and is now catching on in America. It's best to just eat the florets and leaves; the stems are quite bitter.

The peanut butter squash soup is my all time favorite. It's only due to my love for weird food combinations that I decided to make it for the first time (I was not a big fan of either squash or peanut butter back then, but 2 minuses are usually equal to 1 plus, right?) and was it ever yummmy. I think I will never have enough of this one...... I should make it for supper today!!!!!

Broccoli Rabe, Butternut Squash, and White Bean Soup

2 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
8 ounces broccoli rabe (rapini), trimmed
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450°.
Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; toss well to coat. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside.
Cut the broccoli rabe crosswise into thirds. Cook broccoli rabe in boiling water 5 minutes; drain. Set aside.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add squash, stock, and beans; cook 10 minutes. Place 1 1/2 cups vegetable mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Return puréed mixture to pan; stir in broccoli rabe and salt. Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

Peanut and Squash Soup

Hailing from Senegal, this mildly spicy, slightly sweet soup would be well complemented by a side of stewed collard greens or Swiss chard.

1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (I've put the whole spoon and added more once the soup was ready)
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander (I've put the whole spoon and added more once the soup was ready)
4 cups vegetable stock
3/4 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add squash and next 5 ingredients (through coriander); sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add broth, peanut butter, tomato paste, and pepper, stirring well to combine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until the squash is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

Both recipes are from "Cooking Light"

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