Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pumpkin Joy



What you call squash in the US, I still call pumpkin most of the time.  Even after all these years I still revert back to calling it pumpkin.  I don't know why because I manage quite well with baking soda, self-rising flour, and cornstarch.  It doesn't matter because either way it is one of my favorite fruits.  No, that is not a typo.  Did you know that butternut squash is actually a fruit?  Though considered a vegetable in cooking, botanically speaking, squash is a fruit.


I recently discovered a blog by Michael called Verses From My Kitchen.  I have found that since I discovered it that I just keep bookmarking more and more recipes, for example Puréed Squash and Pear SoupBlackberry and Pear Crumble, and Chocolate Crinkles with Sambuca and Coffee Extract.  He also has a cool gadget on the side with his iPod playlist that plays when you load the page.   I have to get these songs.  I totally loved having the music playing whilst I was cooking.


I have been purchasing a lot of the pre-cut butternut pumpkin from Costco lately.  Not only is it much cheaper than the equivalent amount of pumpkin at a grocery store, but all the work has been done for me.  Who wouldn't love that?  I had two dishes in mind - Michael's Puréed Squash and Pear Soup and a Roasted Butternut Pumpkin with Honey & Rosemary, which is my own creation.



The soup is so easy to prepare.  I actually added an extra cup of pumpkin and an extra cup of pear to my soup.  I decided to use a Korean Jumbo Shingo pear and I didn't want the other half to go brown, so I just threw it in the roasting pan too. After roasting the vegetables I added a little vegetable stock and pureed them right in the pan with my Cuisinart Hand Blender.  The only problem with the hand blender is that it can tend to splatter the food so my solution is to put a plastic bag around the pan, cut a hole in the top, blend away, and then dispose of the bag. We wanted a chunkier soup so I skipped running it through a sieve.  I just returned the soup to the heat, added the remainder of the stock, and gently reheated it.  It is a wonderful soup with great flavor.  A little yogurt and chives on top and we were all in pumpkin soup heaven.



With the remainder of the butternut pumpkin I decided to roast it.  We ate some of it tonight for dinner and the rest will probably be used on a mini pizza.  I just love the combination of pumpkin, honey, and rosemary.

Pureed Pumpkin and Pear Soup
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients 
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash 
  • 2 cups diced Bartlett pear
  • 1 cup chopped white onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 celery, stalks chopped
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. all-spice
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, garnish
  • 3 tbsp. toasted squash seeds, optional garnish
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, chopped, optional garnish
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F degrees.
  2. Place the squash, pear, onions, celery, allspice and garlic on a baking sheet and season with coarse sea salt and pepper and spread bits of butter throughout. Bake for 30 minutes.
  3. Move to a stockpot and, using a hand blender, puree until completely liquid, adding as much of the stock as necessary.
  4. Combine the puree with the rest of the stock and heat. Find the correct thickness and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste
  5. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and chopped chives.
Recipe adapted from Verses From My Kitchen 




Roasted Butternut Pumpkin with Honey and Rosemary
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

Ingredients
  • 2 cups pre-cut butternut pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preparation
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
  2. Place pumpkin in a small roasting pan.
  3. Top with honey, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  4. Roast for approximately 30 minutes.









9 comments:

  1. Butternut squash is one of my favorite vegetables (fruit.) It's right up there with brussels sprouts for me. These dishes look so delicious, savory and healthy!

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  2. Yaaay, I'm not the only that refers to them as pumpkin! All squash is pumpkin to me. :)

    Delicious recipes - I'd love to try that pumpkin and pear soup!

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  3. I love squash soup! I've never seen it with pear though! I'll have to try it! Thank you!

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  4. Squash (pumpkin) and pear seem like a wonderful pairing. Your soup looks so good, and love soup. I have to go to Costco, and then make the soup.

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  5. I love roasted squash. Your recipe with the honey looks great!

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  6. Butternut is one of my favorite "pumpkins'! Funny, because when I was little I wouldn't touch it, now I can't get enough. Sweet Potato too!
    I have a recipe similar to this one only I used apples, pears are a wonderful substitute though and I never even thought of it. I'm going to give that a try next time.
    Yes... I like the precut squash too, it makes it sooo much easier! Didn't know Costco carried it, I will have to check that out!

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  7. So funny, I still call it just pumpkin too. I just don't get used to squash haha. I love all these recipes. In particular the pumpkin and pear soup. Oh my god. I so have to make it, above all with my late pear obsession! Thanks for sharing

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  8. Lovely color and sounds so yummy!

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  9. I've never heard butternut squash called anything but squash so I learned something new today. Actually, I guess I learned a few new things, including a few new recipes! many thanks.

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