Butternut Squash Soup & Hummus

My mom always told me that it was a bad idea to go shopping when you’re hungry. Yet, unfailingly, when I get hungry is when I notice I have nothing in the refrigerator. Back in the states I would end up with things like Chex Mix and Little Debbie bars.

Now in Italy, I end up with things like a large Butternut Squash. Actually, huge. It was the entire length of the shopping bag. But I wanted it.

My husband didn’t notice me slip it lug it into our grocery cart, but when I put it on the checkout conveyor belt, its mass was hard to ignore. He cocked an eyebrow at me, and waited for my explanation. I instead shrugged, lifted my chin and continued to unload the cart.

But he was right. What was I doing with this humongous thing? It wouldn’t even fit on my cutting board, it was that big. It would have been a great Thanksgiving squash. To feed about 25 people.

The monster squash

But I decided I would roast it in the oven like my mom always did. I always liked to watch but wasn’t that crazy about the end result. Orange mushy stuff? More stuffing, please.

Getting close to the monster:

Butternut Squash

I had some brown sugar left over from the birthday coffee cake, so I used that with some butter, salt and pepper. Here it is, ready to go into the oven.

Butternut Squash ready for the oven

There was so much of it that I didn’t even bother with some of the less-cooked bits when I took it out. I decided to make a Butternut Squash – Tomato soup.

I sauteed some onions and garlic in Pugliese olive oil (I’m getting so used to this) and then added a can of crushed tomatoes. After a few minutes, I added almost two cups of the squash pulp I had smashed with a fork (no potato masher yet), with a little hot vegetable broth. I didn’t need much because the tomatoes and fresh squash had plenty of liquid. Then I added some peperoncino (hot pepper) and a few spices.

I used my hand blender, a gift from our old landlord, to homogenize everything. I added a few drops of balsamic vinegar on top instead of mixing it in (though I saw a few recipes that called for this).

Reincarnation #1: Butternut Squash & Tomato Soup

Butternut Squash Tomato Soup

But I still had about half of the squash left. Ack! Figuring my husband had had enough squash for the weekend, I froze the rest of the pulp. Luckily during the week I got inspired by a post on Slashfood about a recipe for pumpkin hummus. I had found my second reincarnation for the squash!

It wasn’t my first time making hummus and at least this time I didn’t have to use a fork to squash everything like in the past. I modified their recipe because I wanted to use what I had on hand (and of course, make it better).

Butternut Squash Hummus Recipe

1 can garbanzo beans (ceci in italian)
2 c. squash pulp
1 Tbsp. Tahini (or Tahina as it was called here)
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1-2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
2 dashes hot pepper
1 tsp. lemon juice
Onion/garlic powder, if desired
Lots of fresh-ground black pepper

This came out really good and I proceeded to eat most of it. I like it best with taralli from Puglia, these being with hot peppers. I can’t seem to get enough of them.

Reincarnation #2: Butternut Squash Hummus

Butternut Squash Hummus

I got meme’d by Beth and though by rule I don’t really like memes (in from 1995-2006 I have broken approximately 53,008 chain letters via email) but since Beth and I have uncanny similar taste and interests and I’m thinking of letting her come up with a name for my first-born child (not soon) just to see if we have the same suggestion, I figured I’d do hers.

Do You Like the Look and the Contents of Your Blog?
I have a love-hate relationship with my blog appearance, which I changed just recently. Knowing HTML can sometimes be a blessing and a curse. I’m never satisfied.

Does Your Family Know About Your Blog?
Yes, well before it was considered a “blog” it was my voyage journal that helped me avoid mass-mailings. Funnily, most of my close family members are lurkers on this blog.

Can You Tell Your Friends About Your Blog? Do You Consider It A Private Thing?
I tell most friends about it, if I think they will understand it’s something I enjoy doing but not that I think my life is so “important” to write about. I talk about it rarely at work. I chose not to make this blog private and therefore I don’t write about things that are.

Do You Just Read the Blogs of Those Who Comment on Your Blog? Or Do You Try to Discover New Blogs?
I am always trying to discover new blogs. I usually do check out the blogs of my commenters, and I’m especially curious how they ended up here. I have about 215 feeds in my blog reader but I try and weed some out if people don’t update often, etc.

Did Your Blog Positively Affect Your Mind? Give An Example.
I agree with Beth…I see a lot of things in my life that would “make a good post” which is kind of fun. I know most people would rather not read about catching the bus to work or deciding which sandwich to order for lunch, which is the majority of my “real” life.

What Does the Number of Visitors to Your Blog Mean? Do You Use a Traffic Counter?
There’s a web counter built in to this site, and the marketer/advertiser in me definitely keeps an eye on it. I don’t really analyze what the # of visitors means.

Did You Imagine How Other Bloggers Look?
There are very few bloggers that don’t use pictures, but I do wonder sometimes.

Do You Think Blogging Has Any Real Benefit?
….eye of the beholder….and all that.

Do You Think That the Blogsphere is a Stand Alone Community Separated from the Real World?
Well, I think there are connections formed that wouldn’t happen in real life, but at least the content is based on one’s real life or what we chose to share with each other, and not “characters” in chatrooms or Second Life, etc. At least I hope. :)

Do Some Political Blogs Scare You? Do You Avoid Them?
Blogs are like television programs – each has its subject and its audience. I think it’s healthy political blogs have an opportunity for expression like any other blogger. The question is if anyone’s listening….

Do You Think That Criticizing Your Blog is Useful?
Self-criticism? Happens all the time. Constructive criticism from others is also welcome. But other than that I don’t see any reason to waste your time criticizing a blog (or reading it if you don’t like it!)

Have You Ever Thought About What Would Happen to Your Blog If You Died?
Nope. The question is how long would my credit card keep paying the monthly fee. :) Probably a lot longer than necessary.

Name A Song You Want to Listen To?
If there was a song, “You’re a BLEEP’in Idiot” I’d play it full force so one of our suppliers would hear it across the courtyard.

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  1. says

    I’ll tell ya, that was a damn long MeMe! I felt I had to share the love. I’m not entirely sure about baby names right now, the whole idea still freaks me out a little. But if you get there before I do, McPaddy is always open…

  2. says

    Yipee! One of my goals tonight was to find a recipe for Hummus that has no fat in it! This is great and so healthy. I never would have thought to mix the beans AND squash. I have all those ingredients here right now. I love putting Hummus in pita bread with cukes and toms. Thank you for posting this.

  3. says

    Ha! Well how cool is that? We picked up a butternut squash last week, but it wasn’t *I* that spotted it, it was my husband! He’s never seen one in his life so when I told him there was zucca on the shopping list (he’s such a good assistant when it comes to groceries), the enormous, phallic-looking specimen caught his attention. What’s this?, he asks. After I told him that it was a sort of pumpkin he went on to say that it was kind of wicked looking, no?

    Men! The stuff that runs through their heads.

  4. says

    Yum, I’m on pumpkin overload at the moment too, have had risotto the last 2 days, I always seem to make too much!I love hummus and your recipe looks delicious.

  5. says

    Yum – the soup looks delicious! I love butternut squash soup anyway, but to pair it with tomatoes is a great idea. Can’t wait to try it! :)

  6. Eszter says

    Dear Sara, I found you through Ilva of Lucullian Delights. Thanks for this wonderful squash soup, it is in season here too. What a wonderful idea is to put tomato in it. Today I struggled with one big pumpkin which turned out to be a soup (with rosemary, garlic and cream) and some got also roasted but I still have the bigger part of it left so I’ll definitely try your version. I’ll be coming back.

  7. says

    Soooooooooooo? How was the soup? I, too, am suffering from a case of Gigantic Squash The Likes of Which I Don’t Know What to Do With and would love a good recipe so I can stop getting mean stares from husband when he has to push it aside to make coffee.

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