Monday, March 23, 2009

Squash Soup

Squash, when it's good quality (what we call maligat), is great and sweet and very nutritious too. And beef seems to be the most complementary to it.

1/2 medium-sized squash, big cubes
1/8 kilo ground beef
1 white onion
3 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
pinch of curry powder

1) Season beef with salt and pepper an hour before cooking.

2) In a pot, boil onion, squash and ground beef (make sure you crumble the ground beef when you put it in the pot, otherwise it will be cooked in one chunk, like a meatball) in just enough water that everything is in water. You can just add more water later. Feel free to use vegetable broth (homemade or not).

3) Simmer until both squash and ground beef are cooked and squash is super soft.

4) Remove from heat. Puree in a blender. You may want to strain it first and separate the solids from the broth to make pureeing easier. Just put in the solids little by little and add liquids in the same manner till you get to the consistency you want.

5) Simmer the whole batch in a pot, stirring and seasoning with more salt and pepper plus the curry powder according to your taste.

* It's easier to THIN this type of soup so go easy on adding liquids. You can also add milk or cream to it. If making big batches, only add milk/cream to the portion you're going to serve and not to the entire batch as it might spoil the soup even when kept refrigerated.

** The ground beef will give a sort of nutty element to the soup. Feel free to add more chopped onions if you like.

*** To thicken, add some cornstarch or just let it simmer longer, uncovered.

**** Feel free to make it healthier by adding a potato, sayote or carrot to the ingredients. If you want something you can chew on, dice the additional veggies instead of pureeing it with the squash.

***** I am partial to Dizon's squash, which is a little more expensive but is usually guaranteed maligat.

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