Culinary thermotherapy

March 2, 2009 in chicken, Gardening, Humble Garden, ingredient, recipe

Butternut Squash Soup

On a Nor’easter day like today, as I listen to the plow guy clear our driveway, I am rather fixated on warmth. It doesn’t help that our wood boiler has been slow to start this morning (making for cold water and no heat from the baseboards).

The boilermaster (namely the DH) is very distracted by a blown motherboard from a power outage last Friday, way too distracted to be attuned to the lack of heat coming from the boiler (I guess even the expensive backup batteries didn’t help, don’t ask me). All of which results in frozen toes and my cooking breakfast in a chilly kitchen while wearing a heavy jacket and scarf.

The advantage to this is that you do not need potholders, you just use your jacket sleeve.

This advantage is not making any friends in my book though.

Days like this (ok, all winter here), making a pot of warming soup is a coping mechanism, not a cute foodie affectation.

Today’s soup is one that I seem to make again and again, its that effective at countering the cold chillies. The base is butternut squash and chicken stock.

Its clearly NOT a raw food. (Administrative note, I am now going to post raw recipes and thoughts over at my new food blog Raw+Simple, its better to keep these things separate)

This soup is extra good because I am using really local food, namely, Dandy the really bad rooster (as seen below). He could NOT play nice in the chicken yard, being brutal to the girls and also to us if we strayed too close.

Humble Garden: Dandy

Dandy and a couple of other past-prime broilers were dispatched last summer. We made a huge amount of stock from these chickens and then canned some of it along with the meat.

Peaknix: food storage follies

I have been going through this stock slowly this winter, savoring each quart. After this soup, I have one quart left! Its no easy thing for me to make this because I find it exhausting to kill and then butcher the chickens. If Dandy had been an agreeable animal, he would not be on my shelf.

A pissy testosterone attitude has it’s consequences.

I long ago ran out of homegrown butternut or any other sort of squash so these are storebought. I did use homegrown sage that I dried last fall.

Butternut Squash Soup

Thermotherapeutic Creamy Butternut Squash Soup


  • 1 and 1/2 butternut squashes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 peeled carrots, diced
  • 1/4 C fresh fennel, sliced
  • 3-4 sprigs dried sage
  • 1 quart chicken stock (with some meat)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 C heavy cream PER SERVING
  • sea salt and crushed pepper, to taste


Over medium heat in a large heavy pot, saute the onion in the butter and oil. Once the onion is sweated somewhat, add garlic and allow to cook a minute or two, without getting any color on the onion or garlic. Add crushed dried sage, nutmeg, carrots, cubed butternut squash, diced fennel, and then add enough warm water to cover all. Cover pot.

Simmer until vegetables are somewhat tender. Add the quart of chicken stock (but reserve the meat in the refrigerator until later) and either more stock if you have it or warm water to bring the soup up to an almost full pot. Allow to come to a simmer but do not boil, the stock just doesn’t need to be boiled anymore, its been through enough already, don’t you think?

Once the soup has simmered for a good 45 minutes, take an immersion blender to the soup and blend until most of the texture is gone, leaving a few good bits. Cut up the meat and add to the soup. Simmer until the meat is heated through. Add salt and crushed pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and add heavy cream right before serving.


Butternut Squash Soup

I hope that you stay warm and dry today and likely best to stay off the roads. Stay inside and make up a big pot of something warm and thermotherapeutic!