Theory of Food/Full as a Toad Blog# 2 Making Soup

One of my all-time favorite soups!

Butternut squash soup, creamy rich and simple, three of my favorite things in food.

I selected this soup because it’s the second soup I’ve ever made on my own (my first soup was last week!) and I’m really happy with how it turned out. It’s a simple butternut squash cream soup and as it so happens cream soups are my favorite kind of soup.

There isn’t much of a story behind it, I love soup but prior to this dish I’ve been making only canned soup when at home. Preparing all the ingredients for homemade soup and cooking the stock was an aromatic and fully involved experience; realizing how easy making them can be I will be making more in the future!

How’d you make it?

Though the soup ultimately is blended, why waste an opportunity to practice your cuts?

The soup was completely homemade in all aspects, even the stock was made by hand with raw ingredients, a far cry from last month when I was stacking cans of Campbell soup in my kitchen!

The Vegetable Soup Stock Recipe:

Ingredients for Vegetable Stock

250 grams carrots

125 grams onions

125 grams celery

1 Bouquet Garni (bay leaves, leek,thyme sprigs, carrot)

5 grams parsley stems

3 grams crushed peppercorns

5 L Water

Vegetable Stock, pictured top after completion. Alongside it are your complimentary ingredients for the soup.

Fill the stock pot with water, place your vegetables in the pot along with your bouquet garni and other additions, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 40 minutes, skimming as the stock cooks.

Once your stock is finished you are going to need to gather your ingredients for the Butternut Squash Cream Soup.

Butternut Squash Cream Soup Recipe:

Ingredients

400 grams Butternut Squash

75 grams Onions

40 grams Leek (white part only)

20 grams Celery

½ teaspoon Garlic Powder

Butter

750mL of the vegetable stock

Nutmeg, Salt and Pepper

Sweat your vegetables before simmering with the butternut squash.

How to prepare a Butternut Squash for cooking

Start off by peeling your squash, once this is done cut the squash in half where the bulbous end connects to the body of the tuber. Cut the bulbous end in half then deseed and remove the membrane.

Preparation

  1. Sweat the onions, leeks, and celery in butter until soft.
  2. Add the squash and garlic, continue sweating.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and spice bag.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.
  5. Remove spice bag and purée in a blender until smooth.
  6. Pass through a strainer, if needed.
  7. Return soup to a clean pot and re-boil, adjust consistency with extra vegetable stock and seasoning.
Simmer until the butternut squash is soft, at this point it is ready to blend.
Do not fill your blender more than halfway, this will help avoid clumps forming in the soup!
Season your soup after passing through a strainer.

Sensory Evaluation:

Not gonna lie, the soup smelled and tasted amazing!

Appearance- Yellowy orange from a mixture of the stock and squash with flecks of pepper and nutmeg

Aroma- Overall the squash is what is noticed first along with strong hints of nutmeg and pepper

Flavor & Taste- Creamy, rich, earthy and herbal (thanks spice bag!), the smell of the complimentary spices along with the rich flavor profile synergize to make a great experience.

Texture- Well balanced, somewhere in the middle between creamy and smooth.

Have someone else try it. What did they think?

Pretty sure she liked it!

She didn’t have much to say other than high praise, mind you she is my twin sister and creamy soups are also her favorite so she may be a tad biased!

Answer and discuss the following questions: “What were the challenges involved? Was it a success? What would you do differently?”

Overall the dish turned out good, especially since it’s the second time I’ve ever made soup. The only real criticism I’d give myself would be to improve the speed of the operation, working with soups is still new to me and I do feel a bit sluggish at times. I will work to improve my speed and efficiency in the future.

Reflect on your experience. What did you take away from this experience? Did you learn something? How can you apply this to your future culinary endeavors?

What I learned from preparing this dish has been how much I overestimate the difficulty of preparing meals that I had previously deemed out of my depth. This has unfortunately been a running theme with my cooking. By following proper instructions and measuring the ingredients out to the specified weights, my dishes have turned out to be higher in quality and in taste as well as appearance. This is really boosting my kitchen confidence! With this in mind I will no longer shy away from a dish that seems as though it appears complex or from a restaurant job that I think would be out of my depth. I believe at the end of the day practice makes perfect.