We grow over 50 different varities of pumpkins, squash, and gourds on the farm, and we always pick Buttercup as being one of our favorites. The dry, very dense flesh of the buttercup is great for baking and roasting. And they store excellently throughout the winter because they are such a hard squash.
It’s raining today and QUITE chilly outside…perfect soup weather! We love this recipe from Deborah Madison, one of our favorite cookbook authors. Enjoy!
Roasted Buttercup Squash, Pear, and Ginger Soup
by Deborah Madison
makes about 4 1/2 cups
One 2 1/2-pound Buttercup,
or other dense squash, rinsed
3 pears, quartered, seeds and stems
1 chunk fresh ginger, about 2 inches long,
Olive oil for the squash
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, then cut each half into thirds. Put the pieces in a large baking dish with the pears and all but a few slices of the ginger. Brush with oil, season with salt, and bake until fragrant and tender, about 1 hour. Turn the pieces once or twice so that they have a chance to caramelize on more than one surface. If the squash seems very dry (some varieties are), add 1 cup water to the pan to create steam and cover with foil. When the squash is tender, transfer everything from the pan to a cutting board. Add 1 cup water to the pan, and scrape to dissolve the juices, reserving the liquid. Scrape the flesh of the squash away from the skins. You should have about 2 cups.
2. To make a stock, bring 6 cups water to a boil and add the seeds, squash skins, the remaining ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown a bit, about 10 minutes. Add the pears, ginger, and squash, then the reserved deglazing water. Strain the stock into the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Cool briefly, then puree until smooth and pass through a food mill or strainer to ensure a silky texture. Serve as is or swirl in the crème fraîche.