cooking for kids: 3

cooking for kids: 3
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
So, this is typically how I cook: "Oh, Lord. It's 4:30. What needs to be used?" Butternut squash, carrots, a cup of coconut milk from a coconut little boy opened with his grandparents this weekend. A knob of ginger I bought for another recipe. A brick of cream cheese that needed to be finished off. A mistakenly-bought container of hot-pepper labne (thick and creamy Middle-eastern yogurt cheese). Knowing we're about to go on a mini-vacation for a bit and some food just won't keep. Cool and grey day, feeling a little poorly, wanting warming soup.

Gingered Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

1 med butternut squash, peeled and cut in chunks
4 carrots, peeled, chunked
2 c water
1 c coconut water or canned coconut milk
salt to taste
1 T olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 2" knob of ginger, peeled and grated
2T cream cheese
juice of 1/2 lime

paprika, creme fraiche, labne, yogurt, or cream cheese

Steam squash and carrots over water until tender. Cook onion, garlic, and grated ginger in a bit of olive oil. Combine all in the water you used to steam the veggies. Puree with an immersion blender (or a regular blender, but my immersion blender gets more use than any other small kitchen appliance we own). Add lime juice and cream cheese*, puree again. Salt to taste.

When ready to serve, top with a scoop of labne/yogurt/whatever you're using. The hot pepper labne gave this a real kick. I didn't use it with little boy's serving, though, because mine was crazy hot. Sprinkle with paprika.

We ate ours with a spinach and bell pepper salad and some garlic herb bread I picked up that afternoon. It was definitely a hit- perfect for a chilly night. I'm eating the very last cup-full for lunch. And planning to make it again the next cold rainy night we have.

*If you're concerned about fat content, you could cook a potato or add some silken tofu and puree it to sub for the cream cheese. You'll keep most of the velvety texture that way.