Saturday, September 3, 2011

Summer Squash Soup

So I have this neighbor who drives me nuts. She moved in across the street, we met, she brought me dinner a couple of nights which I thought was nice. The next thing I know, she has asked for a little help planting a garden, and I find myself sweating and digging holes in a cleared 30 year old blackberry patch.

Next thing I know, she leaves for a 3 week vacation and guess who's chosen to water the garden. Yeah, ME!

I tell her, I don't have a garden, I don't want a garden, I don't want your garden, I don't want to water your garden, but I do it nonetheless.

Well, so guess what, now I'm getting tons of squash and zucchini. So I guess it's ok. But still!

And then, she buys a dog, but that's another story. I didn't want a dog to walk either!

So is your Autumn garden bursting with produce?  Got a bunch of yellow neck squash?  Giving it to your friends and neighbors?  So what are you going to make with it?  Boiled squash with milk?  Cut them and cover them with egg and cornmeal and fry them?  Add to some casserole?  All are good, but I have the answer.

Make this soup!

Just make it, and you'll see why I say that.

It's delicate, delicious, and tangy, with a hint of nutmeg and Parmesan. Yeah, nutmeg and Parmesan together. Who knew?

Ingredients and Method:

2 -3 medium Yellow neck squash
1 large sweet onion
Yellow neck squash, diced
4 tablespoons butter
3 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
juice of one lemon
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon nutmeg and a dusting for garnishment
Shaved or shredded fresh Parmesan cheese (Or Parmesan Reggiano)

Mince onion and place in saucepan with butter over medium low heat
Wash and cut off ends of squash, and slice into 1/4 inch slices. No need
to peel the squash, the skin is very tender after cooking.

Toss squash in the pan with onions and butter, and saute for 15 minutes or so, stirring every once in a while.  You want the onions and squash to be very soft.

Add chicken stock, salt and pepper and cook on medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

Now, remove from heat, and either use a handheld immersion blender or a food processor, and puree it all together. It can take a few minutes, but stick with it, you want it silky smooth.

Return to pan, add lemon and heavy cream and nutmeg. Heat on low for a few minutes until heated thoroughly. Do not boil or simmer, no need.

Now, the important part. Taste it!  Decide if it needs a bit more salt, or pepper, or lemon juice and adjust accordingly.

Spoon into a bowl or cup, dust with nutmeg and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.