A Cowboy State of Mind

Hopefully by the time you read this we’ll be well on our way to sunny skies and warm sandy beaches. So if you don’t see my comments around for a while, you’ll know why. I’ll be back and caught up on things after our return – hopefully nice and refreshed and with a bit more color in my face. Until then, we thought we’d share a recipe from our most recent state night dinner. As you may remember, we’ve been trying to keep things a bit on the lighter side. That’s why when we started looking for recipes from Wyoming, the Cowboy State, we wanted a nice warming soup.

We came across a recipe for Butternut Squash and Jalapeño Soup in Pamela Sinclair’s A Taste of Wyoming, which just sounded fabulous. The only problem with the soup – the original recipe called for two cups of cream. Now I’ve used cream in soups before, but never two cups of cream. Even my terribly sinful tomato cream vodka sauce doesn’t use that much cream. Then just for kicks I looked at the nutrition panel on the cream and calculated the calories and fat for two cups – ACK! I mean I knew cream wasn’t the healthiest of things on the planet, but wowzers! So here’s our adapted version of this Cowboy State delicacy, Butternut Squash and Jalapeño Soup.

First we gathered the ingredients which included a butternut squash, jalapeño peppers, onion, garlic, white wine and chicken stock.

We started by cooking the diced onions in a bit of olive oil for about three to five minutes.

Then we tossed in some garlic, followed by some dried sage and the chicken stock and white wine.

While the stock came to a boil we peeled and chopped our butternut squash.

Then it went into the pot and was cooked over medium heat for about 10 or 15 minutes, until the squash was tender.

Now if you’re following the original recipe, this is where you’d add the two cups of cream. We, however, went with one cup of ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

We added both the ricotta and cream to the pot along with about 1/4 cup of diced jalapeño peppers.

After the soup cooked for a few more minutes, we used our immersion blender to create a puree. Then we added a pinch of nutmeg and seasoned the soup with salt and pepper. For serving, we garnished the soup with some more fresh jalapeños and a dash of cream.

Side note: If you want to see a soup with a fabulous creamy presentation, check out Eva’s take on Charles’ Curry Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup. It’s a work of art! While we don’t quite have Eva’s artistic touch, the soup was a success all around – even with the kids.

Now on this particular evening I made the kids a separate dinner thinking that there was no way they were going to go for squash, number one, or for jalapeños, number two. But they continue to surprise me. Mr. N gave the squash soup 3 spoons and Miss A said it was 4 spoons, despite the fact that she didn’t eat very much. I have learned that how much Miss A eats is never really an indication of her vote. What I do know is this dish wasn’t up-turned and didn’t end up hidden under her chair (thank goodness!).

Mike and I enjoyed the soup with some crusty bread and both came in with 3 spoons. It was creamy, sweet and had a subtle kick from the jalapeño, which tended to build with every bite. The ricotta also gave it a thicker texture than a solely cream-based soup. I am wondering if using all cream would have made this a 4 spoon soup, but unless I’m in need of a really guilty pleasure I’m not going to find out. And quite honestly if I’m in need of a really guilty pleasure it’s not going to be soup. ;) Still 3 spoons is a solid rating and with all four of us enjoying this soup, I know we’ll be happy to make it again.

Print this recipe: Butternut Squash Jalapeño Soup

22 thoughts on “A Cowboy State of Mind

  1. Cressa says:

    Made this tonight! It’s EXCELLENT! I roasted my Jalapeno’s before adding them though. Can’t wait to serve it to the family! Thanks.


  2. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    What a gorgeous soup. I love the idea of adding ricotta. I know, it’s so difficult to find the balance between healthifying meals and making them magnificent. I think a solid three spoons and 1/2 the cream is definitely a win-win. Yeah, if you are going to indulge, it might as well be on dessert.


  3. Charles says:

    Thanks for the mention Krist :) The soup looks fantastic – I’ll definitely try the old “ricotta in the soup” thing next time… sounds yummy! I’m surprised the kids liked it, but then, I used to love all and any soup when I was a young’un, so if they’re anything like me, it’s not surprising :)

    Have a wonderful trip!


  4. sallybr says:

    Enjoy your well-deserved vacations! Looking forward to your report and photos, of course!

    I agree on cutting the 2 cups of cream down, way down – it’s so easy to make a tasty soup with 2 cups of cream, to me it is culinary cheating! Much nicer to make a tasty soup with a moderate amount of fat, and let the veggie shine!

    have a fantastic time, and look forward to your next post!


  5. Purely.. Kay says:

    I think you did wonderfully with this soup. I was shocked at the 2 cups of cream though.. I’ve never heard of a soup having that much. I loved that you substituted it ricotta.. wonderful thinking.
    I hope you, Mike, and the kids have an awesome time on your vacay! Hopefully you will come back refreshed and would have had a love re-connection ;).


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