Butternut Squash Soup with Cauliflower Crouton

 

I’m proud to say that I participated in the Women’s March on Saturday, January 21. While I had intended to go to Washington, D.C., transportation failed me and I chose to go to the rally in Montpelier, Vermont instead. It really didn’t matter where I actually was, what mattered was the participation and the joining with millions of people around the world to stand for a positive world ahead—women’s rights, immigrants rights, working people’s rights—and more. Of course, it was against Trump and his policies of hate and fear mongering. But it was more about finding unity with like minded people who peacefully said: NO to misogyny. NO to hate. No to curtailing freedoms. Yes, the march had its critics. There’s been a backlash because it was successful. It wasn’t perfect and its organizers didn’t get everything right, but that made it no less powerful. And it’s a beginning toward organizing and working together for a kinder, gentler world than the one being presented to us right now. I stand firm in my commitment to a peaceful but strong unity for what is right. Join me. And if you don’t agree with my stand, let me know. Let’s build a dialogue of understanding to combat the divisive forces that have the megaphone for the moment. Let’s keep it civil. We can do it.

The march took place on a chilly day in Vermont but that didn’t stop thousands of men, women, and families from taking to the streets and walking with one another. There was warmth and kindness in the air. Chilled after the day out, I put together this Butternut Squash Soup with Cauliflower Croutons for dinner. A slightly spicy soup due to the addition of red pepper flakes, the heat is balanced by sweet ginger added to the mix. A smooth soup, crispy cauliflower bits are added as a garnish just before serving, also adding balance to a wonderful warming bowl of nutrition. Try it.

I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon

Dena

Note: Some of the images from the march have faces intentionally blurred to protect the privacy of the person photographed.


Butternut Squash Soup with Cauliflower Croutons

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 1 medium sized head of cauliflower, leaves removed, trimmed, & rinsed
  • ½  cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into thin slivers
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, lightly chopped
  • 4 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
  • ½ cup honey
  • Sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper.
  3. Split the squash in half, remove the seeds, and place each half face down on one of the prepared sheet pans. Place the cauliflower on the other prepared pan and drizzle it with ¼ cup of olive oil.
  4. Place the the squash and the cauliflower in the oven and roast until both are tender and the cauliflower is golden on the outside, about 40 minutes.
  5. Remove the vegetables from the oven and allow to cool completely. Scoop the squash out of it’s skin and set aside.
  6. Pour the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a large soup pot and heat. Add the onions and garlic. Sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and stir with the vegetables until they are lightly browned. Add the ginger, prepared squash, stock, and honey to the soup pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. While the soup is simmering, break up the cauliflower into florettes. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside.
  8. Remove the soup from the stovetop and allow it to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, purėe the soup until smooth. If it is very thick, add water to dilute it a bit. Return the soup to the stovetop and reheat it. Add sea salt, to taste.
  9. When ready to serve, divide between serving bowls. Garnish with cauliflower.
  10. Enjoy.