Friday, January 06, 2012

Decorated Butternut Squash Bowl Soup

One of the soup I wanted to make for the longest time is the decorated Chinese winter melon or winter squash.    The squash is normally quite large, 3 lb+.   While trying to prepare the butternut squash, the idea came to me to use it instead.     Cut the neck off the end and maintain the large bulb side as the bowl.    Clean out the fibers and seeds.   After roasting it with butter in the oven, scoop just enough soft flesh inside the butternut squash to form the bowl.    Set the scooped out flesh aside.   Be careful not to scoop out too much.     The bowl should be able to stand up on its own.    Using a carving tool, carve out the design on the butternut squash.  Remove just enough peel to form the design.    Set the bowl aside.
You have the choice to roast the neck part of the butternut squash or chop them up and saute them.   I roasted them with the bulb, removed the skin, and set aside with the reserved scooped out cooked flesh from the inside of the roasted butternut squash bowl.   
To prepare soup - Chop 1/4 C onions and 1 small scallion.   Saute them in 2 TB of butter until transluscent (without browning).    Add 2 TB of dry vermouth and cook till evaporated.    Add reserved butternut squash flesh, 1 Cup of warm water.    Add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.    Add a sachet with a sprig of thyme, 2 whole cloves, 4 whole black pepper.     Taste and add Salt and pepper as needed.    Bring to a quick boil and simmer for 10 minutes.    Remove the sachet.    Turn off the heat and cool for 30 minutes.     Add them into a blender and blend till smooth.  Strain into a large bowl.    Add the juice from 1 lemon.    Reheat the soup and serve in the butternut squash bowl.


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