Butternut Squash Soup with Ham and Peas

2 1/2 pounds butternut or other winter squash
8 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
14 ounces beef broth
1 package frozen peas
salt and pepper

Peel and seed squash and cut into 1-inch cubes.  Submerge squash cubes in a bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes.  Drain squash.  Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat; add ham and saute about 5 minutes.  Remove ham with slotted spoon and reserve in a bowl.  Toss squash with the butter that remains in the pot, pour in broth, bring to a boil and simmer until squash is tender, about 15 minutes.  Puree soup with a blender.  Add ham and peas and cook 5 more minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Makes 4-6 servings.

Source: From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition

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