Butternut Squash Soup With Star Anise

This recipe is adapted from Gourmet, December 2002.  The original recipe called for marinating the shrimp in ginger, but I leave out the shrimp and include the ginger at the last moment. The original recipe is listed below. One of the drawbacks of cooking with butternut squash is cutting it up into little pieces.  Below are photographs of how I go about cutting up the slippery little gourds…

You might not have star anise.  In that case, you could substitute the taste by using 1/4 teaspoon aniseed and 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed – their combination approximates the taste of star anise.  If you don’t keep aniseed, then maybe a little ground allspice???

Cut the squash into two sections where the round bulb begins.

Spinach-butternut squash salad_0

Cut the long tube into 1/2 inch rounds, then into squares

Spinach-butternut squash salad_2

Peel the bulbous part of the squash and cut into cubes

Spinach-butternut squash salad_3


  1. 2/3 cup chopped shallot
  2. 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  3. 3 whole star anise (substitute 1/4 teaspoon each aniseed and fennel seeds)
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 5 cups butternut squash, in pieces
  6. 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  7. 2 cups water
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger root (about 1”)


  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat oil until fragrant and cook shallot, garlic, and anise over moderate heat, stirring until shallot is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add squash, stock, and water and simmer, uncovered, until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. While soup cooks grate the fresh ginger.
  4. Remove star anise and add the 2 tsp. grated ginger to the soup.
  5. Purée soup in 2 batches with an immersion blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) until very smooth, about 1 minute per batch, then transfer to cleaned pan and keep warm, covered.
  6. Bring soup to a simmer and season with salt and pepper.

Note: If in season, a nice presentation is to float a nasturtium flower on the soup (same color).  If not, some chopped cilantro would do.
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Butternut-Squash-Soup-with-Star-Anise-and-Ginger-Shrimp-107399#ixzz2kuVYYNZp

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