Recipe: Vegetarian Butternut Squash Soup

DSC_0602

On this blog I have already done a butternut squash soup. In that post, I lamented the lack of flavours that are hallmark in most butternut squash soups i’ve tried. I remedied that by adding bacon, maple syrup and insanely hot peppers. This gave me a soup that I would gladly eat anytime. Today I change that recipe to a vegetarian version. Removing meat from a recipe is something that is more than just about subtraction, this is something that is even more magnified with bacon. The old adage that bacon makes everything better is true in many ways, bacon contains flavourful things like high quality fat, salt and lots of umami flavours. These things need to be made up for in new and creative ways when you are eliminating that ingredient. With this soup I added more salt than I normally do, I used avocado oil which is a high smoke point oil which allowed me to cook the vegetables hotter than I would with most other oils which allowed me to get some nice caramelization on all of the vegetables involved. As an example I over roasted my butternut squash with brown sugar, salt and pepper. And I also used a nice brown ale to add some depth of flavour.

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash (Diced)

1 rutabaga (diced)

1 large onion (diced)

3 cloves garlic (mashed w/ salt)

2 handfuls of Parsley

1 Naga Bhut Jolokia Pepper (whole)

2 tbs Maple Syrup

1 tbs Brown Sugar

1 ts All Spice

2 ts Garum masala

2 bay leaves

1 tbs Brown Mustard Seed

Vegetable Broth

Butter

Sea Salt (to taste)

Black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

In a large pot with a liberal amount of avocado oil on medium heat add your onions, while the onions sweat down you want to put your butternut squash, that has been tossed in avocado oil, salt, pepper and brown sugar, into the oven @400 to roast and caramelize. Once your onions sweat down add your rutabaga, garlic, and spices. Then allow this all to cook down for the next twenty minutes, deglaze the pot with vegetable stock if necessary. You then want to add your whole pepper and allow it to become soft. Once the squash has cooked down and got some nice colour on it, you want to remove it from the over and empty the squash and the oils and juices to the pot. You then want to cook that all together for as long as you can without deglazing. You want to just really caramelize all of those contents of the pot to concentrate and develop that flavour.  You then add your parsley and add 1 litre of broth. You want to bring the entire pot to a boil for a few minutes and then bring the heat down to a simmer and cover. After about two hours the soup will be ready to blend but the longer you simmer the more flavour will develop. When the soup has simmered to the point you want, take the pot off heat, remove the ghost chili, get your butter and your emersion blender.* Add a couple good dollops of butter and blend the soup to a uniform consistency. Serving this with some nice thick yogurt and some finely sliced cucumber or on its own. Enjoy!

*This is the real Last Tango In Paris