Friday, February 01, 2008

Thai-esque Sesame Split Pea Butternut Squash Soup recipe

As I peeled the skin off a butternut squash to make soup, I thought of the name of this vegetable -- butterNUT. But it doesn't taste nutty at all. And when I saw the recipe I was following told me to add oil, I chose sesame. Just a couple splashes to cook the veggies. That unorthodox move became the basis of what I call Thai-esque Sesame Split Pea Butternut Squash soup.

The following recipe is merely an approximation of the amounts. I don't know for sure because I didn't measure. But you should be all right. Amounts are easy to adjust.

Ingredients:

1 small onion, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
2 tsps. sesame oil
1/8 tsp. red cayenne pepper
One medium size butternut squash, peeled and diced into cubes
Three cups chicken stock (or two cans chicken broth)
One cup dry split peas

Directions:

Heat sesame oil in medium size soup pot over medium heat and add onions and garlic. Stir every couple minutes until onions are translucent. Add remaining ingredients. Put heat on high until boiling, then maintain a gentle boil over medium low heat for about an hour or two, or until the squash is tender.

Either in the pot or a separate bowl, use a hand mixer or food processer to puree the softened squash. I used the mixer and still had small chunks of squash, which is fine with me. Add water to thin or potato flakes to thicken. What looks watery after boiling thickens up on mixing when the split peas puree.

Optional: Serve with a dollop of heavy cream whipped with lime juice.

My soup came out green with, of course, orange squash flecks throughout. I call this dish Thai-esque because, like Thai cooking, this soup touches on most of the flavors in the human palate, except for maybe salt. I found delectable the interplay of the sesame oil, squash sweetness, and cayenne.

Enjoi!

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