Butternut Squash Soup with A Spicy Chorizo Hash
I'm Californian so to me chorizo is more commonly seen in the supermarkets like a sausage link. But here in Europe, chorizo is more of a dried, hard sausage under the category of charcuterie. The flavor is similar, but the texture is completely different. The spanish chorizo crisps up like harder bacon in a way with which the wet chorizo would have difficulty. For this recipe, you can use either, but the dried chorizo adds more texture.
Butternut Squash Soup
2 shallots roughly chopped
2 celery stalks roughly chopped
250 ml soy cream
1100 ml stock of choice
2 cloves of garlic-thinly sliced
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin powder
2 T olive oil + some for drizzling
Guajillo chili paste recipe (you can half the recipe if you want, but it's so yummy and can be used inside of a quesadilla, as a marinade for meat on the BBQ or added to hummus to give it a kick...)
Turn your oven on to 180-190 degrees C (350-375 degrees F).
Begin by cutting the squash in half lengthwise. On an aluminum foil lined baking tray, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt & pepper. Place the cut sides of the squash down on the tray. I often move them around in the oil a bit, being careful to not break the foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, or as long as it takes for a knife to go in and out of the thicker, neck of the squash, effortlessly. Remove to cool a bit.
Warm up your stock in a pot on the stove.
In a soup pot, with the warmed up oil, drop in your celery and shallots. Season with salt & pepper, stir and let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic, stir continuously for 1 or 2 minutes, to prevent it from unevenly cooking the garlic. Gently pour in the warmed up stock.
Going back to the squash, Flip them over, while being careful because it will still be hot. On each end of the halves there are harder bits of stem and skin. Both halves will need to be checked. Remove those harder bits by just breaking them off with a knife or your fingers if manageable. Next, scoop out the seeds and discard. Finally, break, or cut the squash in rough pieces and drop it gently in the soup. Skin and all. The skin has so much health. But if you don't want it you can omit the skins. Once all of it is in there, mix it well and smash any larger pieces with a spatula. Next step is to puree the crap out of it, so that all of the skins get broken down as best as possible. You can use a hand blender or a standing blender, just be careful, it will be hot! Once puréed, add the spices and the cream. Mix it well and check the seasonings. Add salt or pepper as needed.
50 g spanish-style, dried chorizo -cut in very small cubes
1 medium shallot-minced
4-6 crimini mushrooms -cut in very small cubes
1/2 of a jalapeño -minced
1 T olive oil
2 T finely-sliced green onions (or cilantro)
In a pan on medium to medium-high heat, and oil, toss in your shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the jalapeño and stir for 1 minute on the heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes stirring regularly (or until they are soft and they look rather damp). They will have shrunk a little bit. Take them off the heat and set on a plate to cool. Place the pan back on the heat and place it on medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring regularly. They ooze their fat quite fast and can over cook quickly because of it. After about 2 minutes they will be crunchy but also "chewable" in the center. Now, you can add the mushroom mix back into the pan to warm all of it back up together .
Plate the soup in a bowl and add the hash on top however you see fit. Garnish with green onions and guajillo chili paste for added flavor. A dash of hot sauce wouldn't hurt either...