Last year, I decided before crazy holiday cooking/family time begins, it would be nice to have a Friends Dinner on Christmas Eve Eve. I would make something simple, we would exchange gifts, we would drink and relax. That first year, we had homemade tamales. It was great, all I had to do the day of was make guacamole and a salad.
This year, I thought we'd have a soup theme dinner. I would make a soup, the husband would make a soup. We'd eat soup. But, our generally easy-going friends all of the sudden got demanding. One insisted on steaks. The others started throwing around crazy soup ideas -- lobster bisque, crab chowder -- as if they had forgotten I was unemployed. I ignored them all. Who do they think they are? Family?
For my soup, I chose an herbed butternut squash from my Ladle, Leaf and Loaf book. The husband made caldo galllego, featured here. Both soups were delicious. The butternut squash was smooth and silky. The husband's soup was rich and hearty. No one mentioned the steaks.
Herbed Butternut Squash Soup
from Ladle, Leaf and Loaf, with minor adjustments
1 small yellow onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped (I used 4)
1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 large carrot, chopped
1 medium red-skinned potato, cut into chunks
3 cups of chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons curry powder (my addition)
salt and pepper
1) Heat olive oil in a soup pot, and add onion and garlic. Saute for 5 or so minutes, then add squash, carrot and potato. Cover and cook for 5 or so minutes.
2) Stir in chicken stock and oregano. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cook covered for about 20 minutes or so, until vegetables are soft. Add curry powder during the last 10 minutes.
3) Cool slightly and puree. Season with salt and pepper and serve with sour cream or yogurt cheese.
This soup is guaranteed to please your once easy-going, now, hard-to-please friends.