Butternut Squash Soup Taste Contest

One thing I like to do when I'm making a dish is to look up several different versions of a recipe, then choose the one that appeals to me.

I wanted to make Butternut Squash Soup today, so I checked out several different recipes before choosing two to make.

I am in the mood to challenge my family to a taste off.  And I am seriously inspired.  I'm making:

1) The “Nurture recipe”

2) A coconut curry squash version-  Roasted squash with a can of coconut milk and seasonings (pumpkin pie spice and salt)

3) A squash/veggie version— Basically a cross between the Kellogg recipe and the Nurture recipe, below.  I had just carrots and onions on hand and added some seasoning (pumpkin pie spice and salt).

Note that I ended up not being able to find the pumpkin pie spice, so I used garam marsala.

I was having so much fun with this idea that I decided we'd have a contest at the dinner table.  Everyone would get a bowl of each, then a piece of paper where they would write their “top choice vote” and place in the center of the table.  (Hint– this method turned out to be extremely effective in getting my kids excited about trying new foods).  The winner?    The “thick” soup (the squash veggie version- #3), although my son liked the “coconut curry” (#2) best.

And before I share the detailed recipes (below), I wanted to share with you a great tip for thinning squash soup as it is cooking. Add apple cider, or apple cider vinegar.  Yum!

Here are my sources of inspiration:

#1: The Nurture Recipe

#2: A recipe from the book Clean:  Curried Winter Squash Soup

Ingredients:
-1 large winter squash (delicate, acorn, butternut) halved and seeds removed
-1 cup purified water
-1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
-1 t salt
-1/2 teaspoon curry powder
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-Freshly ground pepper

#3: A recipe from a cookbook from Jeff's days at Kellogg Business School:

Ingredients:
-3 Butternut Squash, halved and seeds removed
-Handful of carrots
-Butter
-10 cups chicken or veggie stock
-3 or more yellow onions, sliced
-1 t ground ginger
-3 pinches brown sugar
-pinch of cinnamon, if desired
-salt and pepper to taste.

Directions (pretty much the same for all versions):  
Bake the butternut squash (core up) with a little butter, also adding the carrots and onions and broth to the pyrex dish.  Bake at 375 for about an hour. Then allow to cool so you can remove the squash from the skin.  Then puree everything (squash, carrots, broth and onions) and transfer  to the stove top to season and re-cook until you get the desired consistency.

Lest you think that I slaved over the stove all day, I will share with you that I put in about a half-day's work at Nurture, did some work in the garden, went for an awesome hike, and got my kids to their after school activities (including doing homework).  So no need to think that you have to slave over the stove to have your “taste off”.

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