Butternut Squash Soup & Hummus

October 23rd, 2006 · Tags: Food · Italy · Recipe

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.

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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.

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12 Comments

12 responses so far ↓

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  • 1
    ilva // Oct 23, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    I will have to try you soup, finally a version that is a bit different from the rest!

  • 2
    nyc/caribbean ragazza // Oct 23, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    That soup and hummus look delicious.

  • 3
    Beth // Oct 23, 2006 at 7:30 pm

    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…

  • 4
    Ivonne // Oct 24, 2006 at 12:30 am

    Wow! I love the soup!

  • 5
    Deborah // Oct 24, 2006 at 1:49 am

    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.

  • 6
    rowena // Oct 24, 2006 at 8:02 am

    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.

  • 7
    Shirley // Oct 24, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    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.

  • 8
    Ari // Oct 24, 2006 at 4:30 pm

    That squash hummus sounds so good!

  • 9
    Raquel // Oct 24, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    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! :)

  • 10
    Eszter // Oct 25, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    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.

  • 11
    Roberto // Oct 26, 2006 at 9:45 am

    Your soup looks really delicious. You must be a good chef!

  • 12
    FinnyKnits // Oct 29, 2006 at 1:55 am

    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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