Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Family Affair

What I neglected to mention in my Celiac Stories post is that my Dad, at the age of 54 discovered he has Celiac Disease too.  As much as I don't like someone else having to deal with Celiac Disease, at least we know where mine came from.  But now all those burger buns, and fish breading that he ate for me when I was a kid, aren't looking like it was the best idea.

I started this blog to help people work their way through the gluten free world, and I should mention my parents worked so hard to take care of me when I was little, that it is my inspiration and education to take care of myself and my daughter.  Today I'm happy to feature something Dad made, Beef Goulash from Ginger Lemon Girl.  I wish I could have come over for dinner because this looks AMAZING!  And I can guarantee that Ceci would have had a double portion!

Love you Dad!  Keep up the great work!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Gluten Free Croutons

Very thick Butternut Squash Soup with Gluten Free Croutons

Now that fall is here it's time for all the wonderful comfort foods, and soups.  One classic fall soup is Butternut Squash, rich, thick, hearty and delicious.  I also love, that it works with so many spices and herbs and can take on so many permutations of flavor.  For this go around I kept it simple, just some salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg.  I was able to get a ton of flavor out of roasting the squash before mashing it into soup, I also used chicken stock and milk to add flavor and liquid to the soup.  The croutons were a yummy crunchy addition to the velvety warm soup.  I used such a big squash that we had to put some soup away in the freezer for another dreary rainy day.

I should let you know that I find these "cooking" posts the hardest to write, as we say in our house "cooking is art, baking is science."  I'm really good at the math and science stuff, it makes sense to me, but the whole pinch of this and dash of that, just confounds me.  So it is even harder for me to sit down and not only remember what I did but try to quantify what I did so you can be inspired in your own kitchen.  I guess my best information for you is just to keep tasting things and see if you like it, if not, throw in some more seasoning.  Sadly I'm horrible at seasoning things and usually have to rely on my husband to do so, he is excellent at seasoning and cooking, but doesn't even attempt baking.  Somehow I managed to season this soup all by myself, I was pretty proud of myself.

Please take this recipe as more of an inspiration than a list of instructions and season the soup to your own personal tastes.  Now get out there, buy a nice big Butternut Squash and get to work!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 Large Butternut Squash
Olive Oil

Roasting Directions:
Halve Squash, remove seeds, coat with a thin layer of olive oil and place flesh side down on baking sheet.  Place in 400 degree (F) oven until squash is fork tender, probably 40 minutes for a medium size Butternut Squash.  Let the squash cool a little bit, so that you can handle it without burning yourself and then scoop out the roasted flesh into a pot.

Soup Directions:
1 medium apple, peeled, and cut
1 small to medium onion
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
White Pepper

Before you put the squash in the pot saute some diced onions and apples, once the onion and apple are done add the squash. Use a potato masher to break down the squash in the pot, add a liquid of choice to the squash in the waiting pan (I use chicken stock, water, milk, or apple juice depending on my mood that day, or combinations of the liquids), add 4-5 cups of liquid.  Cook on medium to low heat and season to taste with salt and pepper, and anything else you think smells nice with it, nutmeg, curry, cinnamon, anything, see what you have in the pantry, and taste as you go to see if it needs more of anything.  Add more liquid if you think it needs it, soup is a very subjective thing, and can be as thin or thick as you like.  Serve in a nice big bowl with a garnish of choice, I used toasted gf bread cut into croutons, next time I might try some toasted pecans.