Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Squashbob Baconpants!



Contrary to what I have suggested with the title of today's post, this little blurb is not about a squashy man named bob who likes to put bacon in his pants! (That is another story entirely...)

Instead, I thought I'd write about soup. Soup? Soup. Possibly not as glamourous as our friend Mr. Baconpants, but definitely as yummy! Well, I think it's as yummy, anyways. :)

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with bacon, pepper and parmesan

Today's recipe is based loosely on the recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon, from the pink book. It was meant to be EXACTLY the recipe from the book, but I totally forgot it at work and therefore, hungry as a mad(wo)man, I felt the need to improvise and just get it done. I have to say, for my first time ever even handling a squash of any sort, I think I did pretty damn well. As for the recipe, I'll let you decide!


- a bit of olive oil (1 tsp will do, but no measuring is required)
- Rosemary (dried is fine)
- One butternut squash, whatever size you like. (but get one you can cut in half easily, not one of the crazy shaped ones.)
- Cream
- Bacon, about 4 strips. More if you like.
- Fresh black pepper if you have, normal black pepper if you don't.
- Grated parmesan cheese.
- Chicken or vegetable stock. as low-salt as you can find.

Ok, let's start cooking!


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Take your squash and cut it length-wise. Make sure not to cut towards you or you might cut yourself badly, should the knife come unstuck suddenly. (I know because I've done this, and it's not cool.)

3. rub some olive oil on the squash, and then sprinkle it with rosemary. It smells nice and adds some extra dimension to the soup!

4. Plop the squash halves in the oven for an hour on a roast pan or cookie sheet. You'll know it's done when they're easily poked into with a fork or knife. Same theory as potatoes. If you're not sure they're done, leave them in a smidge more. Soft is good. :)

5. take them out and let them cool down a bit. you need to handle them, so leave them until they're cool enough to hold. Then scoop out the stringy part where the seeds are, and discard it.

Scoop the rest of the nice squishy squash into a food processor, a bit at a time. Add a 'glug' or two of cream, and then whiz it up so it's a squash puree! Empty the squash into a medium sized pot. Repeat until all the squash has been...squashed.(I really like the word squash.)

I used a magic bullet for this step as I don't have a food processor. It is a bit more work, as you cannot put very much in at a time, and it has a harder time getting all the pieces. So, if you have both a magic bullet/blender and a food processor, I think you should go for the food processor this time around.

5 and a half... While the squash is cooling, throw your bacon into a frying pan. We need the bacon to be small little bits, so either tear it up before you cook it, or cut it up with a knife or scissors after it's done cooking.

6. Take your pot of squash and throw in the cooked bacon. Throw in the parmesan cheese.I used about half a cup, but you could use more or less. I think next time I will add grated cheddar cheese as well, but that is totally up to you. Throw in your pepper - a teaspoon oughta do 'er. mix it all up a bit, and add another pour of cream for good measure.

7. Finally, put the pot on the stove over medium heat. Take your vegetable stock and keep adding it a bit at a time and stirring it in, until the soup reaches a consistency you like. I kept mine very thick, almost like mashed potatoes. This was mostly due to my fear of the dish being too salty for my tastes, but now I know better. It's not salty at all! I could of added a lot more stock to thin it down, as the soup is very hearty and it goes a long way.

Whenever the soup looks good to you, and it's nice and hot, it's done! Serve at once with a pinch more of parmesan ontop, or mabye some parsley! The pink book suggests that if you want to fancy it up, you could add a drop of truffle oil. Most important: enjoy the soup, you've earned it with your hard work!

What I thought...

I liked this recipe much better than the cauliflower mash. Sure, it takes a bit longer to make, but it's frgging cheap (the squash cost me mabye 2 bucks....and I pretty much had the other ingredients in the cupboard/fridge already.) I personally find butternut squash a very rich and strong flavour, so one small bowlful is more than enough for me. It fills you up fast and is pretty satisfying. My one complaint was I didn't cut the bacon up small enough, and it wasn't as crispy as I'd like. I think perhaps if I used a thicker cut of bacon and made sure I cut it up really small, that would work better. I would also add more stock next time.

Will I make this again? most definitely. It's a really great low-carb lunch which fills you up and tastes great reheated! in fact, I liked it the best on the third day! So don't be afraid to make friends with squash. It may just be friendly right back.... to your taste buds.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Faux Cauliflower Mash

Hello once more!

This post I've come to share a little bit of an accomplishment with you all: I have overcome my fear of a certain IPD recipe, namely, Faux Cauliflower Mash.

I have often heard low-carbers go nuts for this recipe, even those who generally dislike cauliflower. I myself am really, not a fan of cauliflower. I just couldn't fathom liking something that would contain this....vegetable.

Also, my mother used to try and pass off smashed steamed cauliflower as mashed potatoes to us when we were younger, and we would wail "These are not potatoes!!" She then would try desperately hard to say "I have no idea what you're talking about, it's mashed potatoes!" with a straight face. She always failed.

Anyways. Without further ado... I give you...
Faux Cauliflower Mash!


- Half a cauliflower
- Butter
- Double cream
- Salt and pepper
- Nutmeg, if you like


Steam the cauliflower florets until very tender. Chuck into a blender. Blend with a generous knob of butter and a glug of cream. Season. Serve.

How is that for simple?

What I thought...

Well. It looks a lot more appetizing when done than I thought it would! And also.... I think it would make for really good and healthy baby food. For us grownups? I'm not sure. I think it might grow on me. When I really want mashed potatoes, it MIGHT get me through my craving. I can still taste the cauliflower (since, well, it is cauliflower). I also added a generous dollop of sour cream to the recipe when it was in the blender.

I also think that you need to leave it for a few minutes to firm up, which it does.

Will I make it again? Mabye. Probably.

I also wonder...if one was to add some minced garlic to it, what would happen? That might just change it from good, to great.

...I'm going to have to try that!!