Thursday, February 8, 2007

Tonight's Dinner: Butternut Squash Soup, Stuffed Portabellas, and Yes, Kale

Tonight's dinner took an hour to cook from start to finish.

First, the soup (as usual, all measurements are approximate):

• 1 lb butternut squash (1 small squash), peeled and cubed
• 2 tbsp onion, diced (note - I cooked more than this to have extra to add to the stuffing, below)
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 c vegetable broth
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 1/4 tsp curry powder
• salt and pepper to taste

Place the squash in a saucepan and fill with water to cover. Boil until soft. While the squash is cooking, sauté the onion in the olive oil. When the squash is done cooking, drain it and put it in a blender. Add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, onions and oil, and fill with water to the top of the squash. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture in saucepan and add curry powder, salt and pepper to taste. If too thick, add some more water. Heat through and serve.

So while that was going, did the mushrooms:

• 4 portabella caps
• 1 tbsp onion, diced
• olive oil
• 1 rib celery, chopped
• 2 slices wheat bread, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
• 3-5 brown (crimini) mushrooms, diced
• soy sauce
• basil
• oregano

I brushed some olive oil on the mushroom caps and stuck them in the oven on 375F. (In retrospect, I probably should have just broiled them -- oh well, next time.) In the meantime, sauté the onion in some olive oil (I just did this with the onion for the soup and removed the amount I needed for the soup when they were translucent), and add the chopped celery, the diced mushrooms, and a little shake of soy sauce. Saute for a minute or two, then add the bread cubes. Add a little more olive oil if you like and sauté until reduced a bit. Add a little basil and oregano, cook for another minute or so and set aside. When the portabellas come out of the oven, spoon the stuffing onto the mushroom caps. I also made a quick sauce with some vegetable broth (maybe 1/4 cup?) and red wine (about 2 tbsp) thickened with corn starch to pour over the mushrooms.

While the soup was simmering and the mushrooms were cooking I whipped up the kale (I really can cook other vegetables! really).

So it was a pretty impressive-looking dinner, if a bit labour-intensive, for the time it took to cook, and it went over pretty well. I think in the future I'll do at least another portabella cap; I always forget just how much they shrink down when they cook. The soup is one of my favourites and I highly recommend it.

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