Autumn, Hearty Soups and Great Venison Make For a Memorable Meal

If you saw last week’s post or live in the northern part of the U.S. then you have a good idea that temps are starting to cool down just a bit.

Yes, it’s still summer so it’s not time to break out the hoodies, Huntworth gloves or other warm-weather togs. Maybe a hoodie, I guess, if you’re where the mercury dipped into the 40s last week. But no full-fledged parkas or anything, at least, not yet.

By Alan Clemons, Managing Editor

Viking EPS camo

Yamaha’s new Viking EPS side-by-side comes in several colors, including camouflage, and offers triple seating, rear cargo area and more features.

I was in Wyoming this week at Red Reflet Ranch for a Yamaha event featuring the new Viking EPS side-by-side. Red Reflet is a gorgeous ranch located south of Ten Sleep, in the middle of the state, and it was doggone difficult to leave. I love Wyoming and Montana, and would move out there in a heartbeat. My wife, who is a sun person, says I’d hate the harsh, long winters and I might, but I’d give it a whirl.

The new Viking EPS was pretty cool, too, of course. I think you probably could be dragged around by braying donkeys on a concrete sled in Wyoming and enjoy the fantastic scenery. But getting to try out the Viking EPS and enjoy the scenery, including a bazillion stars at night, was great. We’ll have more on the Viking EPS soon, including video.

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While checking out the ranch’s website, I ran across this recipe from the executive chef for Red Reflet Ranch. I love butternut squash and this soup is great on a chilly night. I think this soup would be a fantastic addition to a meal with venison, either some grilled steaks or a nice roast or loin medallions with herbs and a red wine sauce.

Butternut Squash Soup
2 tablespoons butter or oil
½ cup finely diced onions
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup white wine (optional)
4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (approximately 1 squash)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (prefer chicken)
If you are not using wine, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to your stock
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (save some for garnish)
1 cup milk or half-and-half cream, use more or less depending on how creamy you want the soup.
salt and pepper to taste

Optional additions
— Indian spices, curry, lemongrass – to be added in first stage with garlic and onions
— Sage, lemon zest, parsley, roasted garlic, roasted pepper, sundried tomato – to be added at blending stage
— Sautéed mushrooms, lemon pepper shrimp, kabobs etc. – to be added at the end

Directions

  1. Over medium heat, in a heavy bottomed pot, sauté onions and garlic in butter until onions are translucent and soft. Deglaze with wine and let cook down until reduced by half. This cooks all of the alcohol out and leaves the complexity of the wine in.
  2. Add squash and stir to coat. Let cook about 5 minutes. Slowly add stock, stirring to release all of the fond (the goodness cooked on to the bottom of the pan). The stock needs to cover the squash by about 1/2 inch.
  3. Let cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until squash is soft and cooked through. Taste the squash and adjust as necessary with salt and pepper.
  4. Blend the squash. Using an immersion blender is best and easiest but a food processor works well. Add milk or half-and-half, cheese and optional additions you want incorporated.
  5. Garnish. Garnishes tie the soup together. For example, if you added roasted red pepper, save a few small, pretty pieces to sprinkle on top.

NOTE – this soup freezes very well. After blending, before cheese or milk is added, pull some out, let cool and freeze in a freezer quart size bag. When you reheat, add milk and cheese as well as any other ingredients you like.

Venison Recipes From Those Who Know Best — Hunters! Click Here Now!

That butternut soup sounds great, and especially on a chilly or cold evening. Butternut squashes are hearty and healthy, along with being versatile, and pair well with venison. Speaking of venison, try out this great recipe for more hearty, rib-sticking fare.

Vegetable beef soupBig Game Vegetable Soup
2 large shanks (or roast)
1 lb carrots, diced
1 cup onions, diced
4 potatoes, diced
1 small head cabbage, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
1 large can tomatoes

Cover shanks with water and cook until tender at 375°F. Remove meat from the bones and place in kettle with all vegetables and seasoning. Cook until well done, about 2½ hours.

That’s a simple, easy and delicious way to prepare supper at deer camp or home, use the shanks from your deer (which you usually throw away, don’t you?) and have a great, flavorful meal. Whip up some cornbread or garlic bread, pop open a nice Merlot or cold brew, and kick back.

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