Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Roasted Buttercup Squash and Garlic Soup with Leeks, Rosemary, and Basil

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Roasted Buttercup Squash and Garlic Soup with Leeks, Rosemary, and Basil

So it turns out we have a slight change of plans for Christmas. We will not be going to Illinois for the holidays this year; we will be spending Christmas here in CoMo. Why you ask? Well, Brett and I don't really "believe" in credit cards (I imagine this hurts my dad since he works for MasterCard), we don't believe in buying things if you do not have the money and both think they are unnecessary temptations. We have only debit cards. Brett lost his debit card. When we went to report it lost yesterday, we were informed that my card (tied to the same account) would no longer work either and that it would be 7-10 business days until we get our new card. No big deal right? We still have access to cash, no biggie. Then it hit us - how are we going to rent a car?! Especially with it being the holiday season, you have to give some notice. After a little bit of sulking, it was determined that we wouldn't be able to go to Illinois, and thus I will also not be making the baked goods baskets I've been testing recipes for over the past couple of months. It is a bummer, but I am looking at the "silver lining", I get a few days off and get to relax at home with Brett. I also don't have to spend two whole days in the kitchen either.

Thankfully, soup and bread night was back on this weekend, and despite the baking I did, I still made time to make soup. We had a couple of buttercup squash in our closet that I have been eyeing for awhile, eager to try them out, so they were the base for this week's soup. I must say, I think aside from butternut, buttercup is now my second favorite type of squash (though delicata are starting to rival too) - they are so sweet, creamy, and they are not stringy at all.

This was an easy, creamy, and wonderful soup for a mild Mid-Missouri evening. Speaking of mild - it was a beautiful weekend; Sunday it was gorgeous, now there is ice on the ground, and snow coming down. Damn winter.

The local booty legend (aka revealing my sources):
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = local produce from The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook (will denote whether product is local or just from the Nook)
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

Roasted Buttercup Squash and Garlic Soup with Leeks, Rosemary, and Basil

2 medium buttercup squash, halved, seeds and "goop" removed *
1 bulb of garlic, top 1/4 inch sliced off +
safflower oil
a pinch of salt
3 leeks, sliced (white and light green parts only) +
2 cups plain hempmilk ++ (not local)
2 cups water
1 veggie bouillon cube
1 tsp dried rosemary + (not sure if this is local or not)
1 tsp dried basil
black pepper (to taste)
salt (to taste)

Preheat oven to 375.

Pierce squash in a few places, drizzle lightly with safflower oil. Place cut side up on a baking sheet.

Roast for 45 minutes.

Drizzle garlic bulb with a little oil and salt. Wrap in foil and place on sheet next to squash.

Roast for an additional 20 minutes. Allow squash and garlic to cool for a little while.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil, Earth Balance, or water in a small skillet. Add the leeks and cook for 5-8 minutes.

Scoop squash out of the skin and add to a food processor, do the same to the garlic (they should slip right out of their skins). Add the leeks, hempmilk, water, veggie bouillon, and spices.

Blend until very smooth.

Transfer to a medium pot and heat through.

Serve with crusty (preferably local!) warm bread!

Song of the Day: "Shadow Ridge" Chris Thile (my favorite bluegrass song!)

Have a great day!

'Til next time.


Heather @ SGF said...

Mmmm. That looks SOOOOO good right now that I'm freezing my tushie off. It's 32 degrees outside (we're not used to that in Central Texas) and I keep putting off the bike ride to the library. Warm soup would be a real pick-me-up...

Sorry you won't be able to make your trip over the holidays :(

spelled with a K said...

I NEED to try this out, that sounds delicious

SusanB said...

Staying home can be nice for the holidays, not that I've tried it recently . . . too bad you are west of IL, we could pick you up as we make our yearly pilgrimage (aka bad weather drive-a-thon) from NJ to IL to see my mom.

Anonymous said...

Awww--I am sorry you are not able to take your trip this Christmas. That must be a disappointment. And after all that baking! Well, like you said, you get to relax at home for a few days, which will be VERY nice, I am sure! AND, you got to make and eat a lot of delicious baked goods, so I guess it isn't all that bad in the end :o)

Your soup sounds excellent--I bet the rosemary and basil were perfect together with the creamy squash! I love buttercup squash, but my favorite is spaghetti, closely followed by delicata. I try not to discriminate, though, and will gladly eat just about any kind of squash available :o)

Stay warm!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I'm sorry for your disappointing change of plans! But sounds like you're trying to look on the bright side. I think we're spending the holiday in a similar fashion- the two of us with some extra time off, enjoying it together and stuff we like to do - movies, food, etc. Hope you have a good one.

Chile said...

Sorry to hear your trip plans were foiled by a lost card.

Hm, I'm not sure that I've ever had buttercup squash. I remember liking delicata; is the flavor similar?

The CSA farmer grews tons of spaghetti and butternut squash this year, neither of which I particular care for. I've still got a couple of acorn squash tucked away that might work for your soup.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Heather - It was really good, I've been enjoying the leftovers for work lunches this week. Which is nice since the other day the high was around 16. 32 degrees in Central Texas. Makes me wonder if climate change isn't going to turn the US into an ice sheet or something - I was partially looking forward to global warming, at least our winters wouldn't be so bad. ;-) (Just kidding.)

You are going to have to give me some pointers on good fiction. I am forever reading non-fiction, but I am so particular when it comes to fiction.

Hey, you know what, there is a bright side. I get a long weekend, I get to stay home, I don't have to slave away baking for three days straight. I can actually cook up some of the exciting local recipes I've been creating based on what we have at home. There are lots of good things about it, and we are going to try to go up there sometime in January or February.

Spelled with a K - It is really good. I am a huge fan of buttercup squash already!

Susan B - Yes it can be. We stayed home last Christmas too, because I was too new to my job to use my vacation hours, but it's alright.

That is so nice of you to offer, that is too bad. I love how you call your trip a pilgrimage. Where abouts does your mom live in Illinois if you don't mind my asking? Enjoy your trip and be safe!

Courtney - Its alright. It was a little bit disappointing, but more so for our family than for us. The holidays are always stressful on those who travel and I also have to worry about being able to find food or bring my own, so at least I don't have to worry about that.

You are right, my friends, waist, Brett, and co-workers got a lot of treats, and I am very happy to be done baking for awhile though!

The seasonings really seemed to pull the soup together. I love all three of the squash you listed. Really, I think I'm just a big squash fan. So far, my least favorites are acorn squash and hubbards and I still really like them.

You too!

Lisa - Hey, it's no problem. I am, I always try to, you don't get disappointed as much that way. :-) I'm all for as little disappointment as I can get.

Sounds like you all have a wonderful holiday planned. I'm glad we have enough time to shuffle our plans so we can have some fun as well.

I hope you guys have a great one too!

Chile - No worries. This isn't the first time Brett has lost our debit card (or keys, or locked the keys in the car), so I expect these little things to come up every few years (I am known to lose things as well). It just sucks having to disappoint the family.

Buttercup squash would probably be most similar to delicata - yes. It really reminded me of an extra-sweet, really creamy sweet potato, and I love me some sweet potatoes. You can't eat the skin on the buttercups like you can the delicatas though. Buttercups look a little like turban squash and they are a deep green.

Lucky, I love those two types of squash. Our CSA farmer grew acorns, which I love too, but really, I love all squash.

Heather @ SGF said...

I'll email you about books

SusanB said...

My mom lives near Rockford. (I've lived in/near Chicago, Springfield and C-U).

Theresa said... looks and sounds delicious! I grew buttercup squash this year but I lost them all to frost, mainly due to my lack of attention. I will have to try again next year and then give this soup a whirl!

jessy said...

oh man, that stinks about not being able to rent the car, Jennifer! disappointedface, indeed! i'm so sorry! but you're right - the silver lining is being able to relax and not worry about baking like a maniac! :)

your soup looks perfect & sounds sooo wonderful! it's raining and cold here and i wish i were enjoying this right now! hooray for another tasty soup & bread night! i need to see if dan will "allow" me to use a tasty squash in a soup soon. he's not the biggest squash fan, but i think i can pull it off! :)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Heather - I really appreciate your email, you gave me a lot of great leads on books. You rock!

Susan B - I think that is a little farther north than where we usually go - Brett's family lives in Peoria and small towns like Henry and Eureka. We occasionally drive through Springfield, if we decide to take the main roads or stop and visit my dad in St. Louis on our way up.

Have a great trip and stay safe in warm. That wind in Illinois can be brutal this time of year.

Theresa - Thank you, it was really creamy and delicious! Oh no! I remember you posting about the frost and I was pulling for your squash to make it through. Perhaps next year the weather will cooperate a little more.

Jessy - It does stink a little - but I look for the bright side. I was looking forward to having lots of time off of work, but not the amount of time I was going to have to spend in the kitchen.

Thank you, it was creamy, savory, and really yummy. Aw, soup is great when the weather is all icky. I love soup and bread night. This weekend I am going to venture out and try a chunky soup - wahoo!

Dan isn't a squash fan? Oh no! He wouldn't survive in our house, we are squash freaks apparently. I asked Brett yesterday after confronting the two containers full of winter squash in our closets if he ever felt like they were trying to take over... :-)

SusanB said...

We used to drive through the Quad Cities when visiting my partner's family in Omaha was part of the pilgrimage . . . and I associate Peoria with a failed romance from the past (the failure of which led to better things).

Anonymous said...

Awww, sorry about the difficulty in the holiday plans. It can be nice at home too, with Brett and just enjoying the time together. And I've got to say, you have made my dinner tonight! I have some leeks from my last trip to the farmers market and I just don't feel like kale and leek soup even though I normally love it. So yours came at the perfect time :-)

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Susan B - That must have been quite the trek! Haha about Peoria, I've never thought it was anything special, though I do like the Bradley area. At least it led to better things though, I like how you look on the bright side. :-)

MangoChild - No problem, I see the bright side for sure. I am looking forward to hanging out at home and making some tasty grub. Brett and I have some plans to play some Hot Shots Golf together. We might get really crazy and bust out the chess board or scrabble or something.

Kale and leek soup! That sounds good, you should post the recipe! I hope you like the soup if you make it!