At home, we love to cook food from all over the world. It’s not very often that we cook Cuban food, but when we do, we have some Cuban favorites. We will name this section of our blog "From our Kitchen," we will include recipes we learned from our families as well as our versions of traditional Cuban dishes.
Butternut Squash Soup
Even though you are probably surprised to see this recipe included in a collection of Cuban dishes, this soup is made all over the island. In Cuba, they boil the butternut squash, but we love to make it in the oven. When I was growing up, this dish was one of my sister’s favorites because it was easy to make but elegant at the same time.
2 small butternut squash (about 1 1⁄2 pound each) or 1 large butternut squash (3 pounds)
10 garlic cloves
1/3 cup good plain yogurt (we use Labneh)
1 cup chicken stock (you can use vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian) 2 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground nutmeg (1⁄2 teaspoon)
Good olive oil
A small bag of plantain chips
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Cut the butternut squash vertically and take the seeds out.
3. Put some parchment paper over a baking sheet and place the butternut squash on the parchment paper.
4. Add some olive oil, salt, and pepper and sprinkle 5 smashed cloves of garlic over it. Massage the butternut squash with this mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Put in the oven for 45-50 minutes.
5. In the meantime, smash the plantain chips without opening the bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the bag very carefully, so you don’t break the bag, but so the chips still get pulverized.
6. Once the butternut squash is done, take it out of the oven. With a spoon, scoop out the butternut squash and place it into a blender. Discard the skin.
7. Add 5 fresh garlic cloves, butter, yogurt, and chicken stock into the blender and blend together.
8. If you think the soup is too thick, add more chicken stock.
9. Once everything is blended, transfer the mixture to a pot and heat until warm. Add nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
10. To serve, put some of the soup into a serving bowl. Drizzle some good olive oil on top and sprinkle it with some of the plantain chips. You can also add some ricotta cheese.