A quick dinner to survive the Toronto winter: Butternut squash and sweet potato cream recipe

DSC_0922Marina is a Bachelor of Music student at Humber College by day and foodie by night.


Let me just start out by saying I have never experienced as much cold as when I moved to Toronto. Prior to coming here, I lived in rainy Vancouver. Rainy, but not cold. Here I wear two pairs of wool socks, tights, jeans, a long sleeved shirt, a wool sweater, a hat, scarf, gloves, and my beloved big parka. All at the same time, everyday. I still manage to get cold toes and no feeling in my fingers. You know that uncomfortable sensation of brain freeze when you chew on something too cold? I have felt that just by walking down the streets of Toronto! Unbelievable. It is in times like these, when the wind hurts your face, that you think of a nice hot chocolate by a fireplace of in this case, a warm homemade soup. Cue in: today’s recipe.

When I think of winter produce, I think of winter squash. It’s in the name, it’s in season, it’s filling, I love the texture, and it’s delicious! I also think of sweet potatoes cut open roasting over an open fire. Is there anything that screams winter more than that? What a great combo. They are both starchy and thick and will fill you up after having worked all day and coming in cold from outside.

Growing up soups and creams were a go to. I was a picky kid and vegetables weren’t my favorite. My dad figured if they were liquid I wouldn’t be able to see them, and happily eat. He always tells the story of how if the vegetables were whole, I would throw a fit, but if they were creamed, I would ask for seconds. Funny how kids are. Anyway, I learned how versatile soups and creams can be. When you learn the basics you can switch up all the ingredients, make it with what’s in season, what you feel like eating, or just about anything. I personally use it as a great way to clean up my fridge at the end of the week when I have a few wilting things left. Just throw it all together and make something nutrition and yummy!

This particular recipe presents a challenge. The hardness of the butternut squash and the sweet potato. Not going to lie, I have definitely cut myself before trying to slice them open. They are very sturdy. If you have a sharp knife and are up to it, definitely try. If not, luckily for us we can get packaged produce. It comes peeled, washed, seeded, and cubed. It can really save you a lot of energy and time. But if you are up to it here’s the ultimate how-to on how to prep butternut squash. From the great recipe blog Simply Recipes. We’ll also need to chop an onion, if you aren’t sure how to do that here is another how-to from Simply Recipes. If you aren’t particularly comfortable with chopping onions, I really recommend you take a look at the link an get practicing. It is the basis and first step to most recipes.

As for the chicken stock, you can use any kind of broth, like vegetable or low sodium, or even water if you don’t have any. For the cream, you can use any kind or even milk. You cannot however substitute the milk for a non-dairy product like almond or soymilk.

But enough chatter, let’s get started!

Prep time: 15 min (if you chop the produce yourself) Cooking time: 30-45 min Total: 45 to 60 min Servings: around 6

Ingredients:
-One butternut squash
-2 medium sweet potatoes
-1 white onion
-3 cloves of garlic
-Chicken stock enough to cover the produce (one carton)
-Cream to taste
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Vegetable or canola oil

Method:

1. Peel, clean, seed, and cut the squash, potato, and garlic. Set aside.

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2. Take a big pot and cover the bottom in a thin layer of oil. While it heats on medium heat chop the onion.

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3. Fry the onion until it becomes translucent.

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4. Dump in the rest of chopped ingredients and fry for a few minutes.

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5. Cover in broth. Cover pot with lid, turn up heat and bring to a full rolling boil. When it reaches the boil, turn it down a bit and let cook.

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6. When the squash and potatoes are tender, 30 to 45 minutes, turn off heat. With a ladle, transfer some of the broth to a bowl. With a hand blender blend everything slowly putting the broth back in until you reach desired consistency. Then pour the cream in until rich and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

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Here is the final product, a filling and delicious cream to keep you warm and alive through the Toronto winter!

Butternut Sweet Potato Cream

Marina López Medialdea
Humber music student
Foodie

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