Butternut squash features really low in my vegetable list. I have always had the impression that this vegetable is really bland and so will be the dishes made out of it.But I must say this vegetable is an eye-catching one and every time, I visit the local farmer’s market, these beauties do catch my attention.
Since I was in no mood to experiment with this new vegetable, I always gave it the pass i.e. until I came across this soup recipe.
One of my dear foodie friends, Nanditha who also runs the popular microblog Kitchening About on Facebook had shared this recipe using pumpkin. The hint of spice in this recipe is what attracted me to this as it didn’t sound like a bland one. I decided to try it out anyway but with butternut squash and the result – a rich, creamy, delicious and nutritious soup with just the right hint of spice and flavour to appease my Indian taste buds.
So, here’s the recipe for butternut squash soup…..
1. Butternut squash – 12 big chunks
2. Garlic – 3 cloves, chopped finely
3. Onions – 1 small, chopped finely
4. Bay leaf – 2
5. Cloves – 2
6. Vegetable stock – 1 cup (the original recipe used water but I used stock to give some extra flavor)
7. Salt – to season
8. Cracked black pepper – to season
9. Light cream – 2 tbsp.
10. Parmesan cheese – a sprinkle, for garnish
• Put the stock, vegetables, salt, bay leaves and cloves in a pan, cover and bring it to a boil.
• Once boiled, turn the flame to medium-low and keep it that way till the squash pieces become soft.
• Strain the stock and reserve it for later use.
• Also remove the bay leaves and cloves.
• Take the veggies and blitz them to make a thick puree.
• Add as much stock as you’d like depending on your preferred consistency for the soup.
• Now to the soup add cream and give it a mix.
• Give it a taste and season the soup accordingly.
• Add a final touch to the soup by topping it off with parmesan cheese.
Note – You may use pumpkin or add other veggies instead. Skip the cream or parmesan if you are wary of the calories.
This is a great soup recipe for children who are otherwise fussy to eat veggies. Do you make soups at home? Which one is your child’s favourite?
A comfort dish is what this one is….easy and simple to prepare especially if you stock up on white sauce. Just throw in some sausages, stir in the pasta and you have a filling delicious meal in no time.
When I started blogging, a big advice I received from many is that I need to connect with my followers through my writing and not just my recipes. But my problem is that I really don’t want to fill up the pages with my life but I would rather write about the dish or food in general. And I want to connect with all here through food and nothing else. But I am interested to know what you guys think – do you like what you see here or is there something I need to change big time? Love to hear your comments….
- 350 gms spaghetti
- 6 chicken sausages (skinless); sliced
- ½ red onion; finely chopped
- ½ bell pepper/capsicum; finely chopped
- ½ tsp dried Italian herbs
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Parmesan cheese; for garnish
- White sauce:
- 2 tbsp white flour
- 2 tbsp plain unsalted butter
- 3-4 cups milk
- ½ cup parmesan cheese; grated
- ½ tsp dried Italian herbs
- Salt, to season
- Freshly ground black pepper, to season
- Cook the spaghetti as per packet instructions; drain and keep aside. Reserve 1 cup of the drained pasta water.
- To make the white sauce, melt butter in a large pot and add the flour. Mix well and cook on low heat to prepare the roux (this is essentially cooking for a minute or two to remove the raw taste of the flour). Add 1 cup milk and mix into the roux using a whisk. Continue cooking stirring constantly so that no lumps are formed. As the sauce begins to thicken, add another cup of milk and whisk well. Add the seasoning and cheese; continue to stir and when the sauce thickens again, add the third cup of milk. Whisk well and cook till the sauce attains a creamy consistency. Keep aside.
- In another pot, heat olive oil and add the onions and bell pepper; sauté for a minute till the onions are just softened and add the sliced sausages. Cook for 1-2 minutes till the sausages are lightly fried and then add the seasonings.
- Mix well and add the white sauce followed by the cooked spaghetti. Mix well to incorporate and if the sauce feels too thick, add some of the pasta water to loosen it up.
- Serve immediately with grated parmesan on top.
Whenever I make basic pasta sauces, I always prepare in bulk and store away in the freezer for lazy weekday nights. So there was one remaining jar of white sauce languishing away in the freezer and decided to come up with this dish. I had also bought a packet of smoked paprika and was dying to use it in some form or the other.
Didn’t really have a culinary plan when I started out making this dish but somewhere along the way, the dish evolved. The spicy sweetness of the paprika mushrooms went quite well with the cheesiness of the white sauce. A very comforting meal!
- Pasta (any type can be used); 400 gms
- White button mushrooms – 2 cups, cubed
- Smoked Paprika – ¾ tsp
- Olive oil
- White sauce:
- Maida/flour – 1 tbsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Milk – 1-2 cups
- Red onion – ½, finely chopped
- Green bell pepper – ½, finely chopped
- Oregano – to season
- Salt – to season
- Black pepper powder – to season
- Parmesan cheese – 1 cup
- Parmesan cheese – grated, to serve
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, drain (reserve 1 cup water) and keep aside.
To make the mushrooms:
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté on high heat for about 30 seconds.
- Next season with paprika and salt and toss well.
- Sauté for another 30 seconds and keep aside.
To make the white sauce:
- In a large pot, add butter and the chopped onions and bell peppers. Sauté till the onions are softened.
- Then add flour and mix well, cook for a minute or two to remove the raw taste.
- Add 1 cup milk, little by little, and stir on low flame. Continue to stir on low flame till a creamy consistency is attained.
- Add the cheese and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well to combine. If the sauce feels too thick, add more milk. Remove from heat and keep aside.
To finish, add the mushrooms and pasta to the white sauce and mix well to combine. To loosen up (if necessary); add a little bit of the reserved pasta water.
Serve warm with grated parmesan. Enjoy with a glass of chilled white.
Linguine with asparagus and tomato; a recipe that I had jotted down in my cookbook diary long back. Stayed out of sight and out of mind for a long time but was thrilled to rediscover it. And since I did not think that I would be publishing or blogging about this recipe, forgot to write down where I got it from. So sorry that I cannot give due credits.
Asparagus is a relatively new vegetable for me as it is quite expensive back in India; in fact, I have tasted it only once at a five star resto, before coming to Australia. It is a wonderful vegetable to cook with, fresh with a delicious crunch. Overcooking asparagus is the worst thing that you can do to it as it lose its crunch and vibrancy, two qualities which make it unique. Blanching or grilling is the best way to preserve its natural taste.
A very simple, easy to prepare pasta dish which has become a regular in our home. And a perfect one for Meatless Mondays.
- Linguine – 300 gm
- Green asparagus – 500 gm
- Cherry tomatoes – 200 gm
- Canned tomatoes – 400 gm
- Olive oil – 4-5 tbsp
- Garlic – 2 cloves, chopped finely
- Salt – to taste
- Pepper – to taste
- A pinch of sugar
- Italian herbs (optional)
- Chilli flakes (optional)
- Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
• Rinse and trim the asparagus; cut into short sections.
• Heat olive oil in a pan and lightly fry the garlic till golden brown.
• Add the asparagus and toss for a few seconds. Then add the cherry tomatoes and cook further on high heat for a few seconds. Next add the canned tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of sugar and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.
• Cook linguine in salted boiling water; reserve a bit of the water in which the pasta was cooked, drain the remaining and add to the simmering sauce. Use the reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce if it feels too thick.
• Grate fresh Parmesan cheese on top and season with Italian herbs and chilli flakes.
• Serve warm.