I get my best cooking tips from my family. (Although I’m not one to welcomingly heed my parents’ advice—I take it rather grudgingly.) Whom did I call when I hesitated to add leftover gravy to my lentil soup? Dad. Whom do I ask to check the stiffness of my beaten egg whites? Mom.
Shabina Moheebulla, the historical studies department secretary, got her butternut squash soup recipe from family, too. “This is a family favourite. I got the recipe from my aunt, who is an amazing cook,” she says. “I’m not sure where she got it from. My mother made the soup and it was a hit with me and my brother. I tried the recipe on my husband and two girls and they loved it.”
Like the sweet potato soup featured previously, Moheebulla says, “I normally make it during winter because it’s a comfort food we always go to during the cold months. It’s simple to make and the kids have fun helping me make it. I usually serve this with toasted crusty bread or French baguettes and spinach salad with strawberries and toasted almonds, drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette.”
The recipe is not only easy, but also flexible. “You can eliminate the garlic and onions if you prefer not to use them,” she says. “I find the flavours infuse into the squash during the roasting and baking process.”
We pass photographs, wedding rings, and old letters down through generations. But what memory or heirloom can you literally recreate and have fresh any day or anytime other than a recipe?
Butternut Squash Soup
SERVES 2 TO 4
- 1 butternut squash
- 3–4 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ large or medium onion, skin removed and quartered (optional)
- 4–5 cups beef, chicken, or veg broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- pinch of nutmeg
- dash of cream
1.Slice the butternut squash lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Generously rub the squash, garlic, and onions with extra-virgin olive oil or grape seed oil. Place the garlic and onions on the squash on a tray.
2.Put the tray in the middle of the oven preheated to 350 F (180 C).
3.Remove the garlic and onions once they turn golden brown.
4.Remove the squash once it has changed colour and is soft, half an hour to an hour.
5.Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the insides with a spoon. Discard the skin.
6.Put the garlic, onion, and squash in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add a little water if it is difficult to puree.
7.Add the pureed squash to a deep pot with the broth, salt, and black pepper.
8.Cook the mixture over high heat until it comes to a boil. Turn the temperature down and let it simmer until it thickens slightly. If it becomes too thick, you can add some more broth or water.
9.Add a pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated if you like, and cook 10–15 minutes.
10.Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve in a soup tureen or dish. Drizzle some cream overtop.