Where does this recipe come from? “This is a recipe from my husband, Michael’s, Lebanese mother, Rose Ansara Browers. She learned it from her mother. Passed down from generation to generation. Rose taught it to me and I will teach it to my grandchildren. It was and remains a requested side dish to the turkey and other fixings at Thanksgiving and also at Christmas. I make it every Thanksgiving in Rose’s honor and memory, as I will this year. Michael has already put his order in!”
Is hushwee only a holiday dish in your family, or do you serve it at other times of the year? “For us, it is only a holiday dish, made for very special occasions. Too rich to eat more frequently!”
How many years have you been making it for Thanksgiving? “About 13 years. It’s a perfect side dish, as it will be at our Thanksgiving meal, right next to the turkey.”
Could this be made ahead? “It’s really best made fresh because of the rice. And also because it will disappear before it makes it to the holiday table!”
Does it make a good leftover? “This is good for several days. Just reheat in the microwave, or add a bit of broth or water on the stove so it doesn’t burn. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!”
2 lbs. ground lamb (could also be made with beef)
1 stick (4 oz.) butter
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup vermicelli or angel hair pasta
3 cups store-bought 5-minute rice
5 cups chicken broth
4 large chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp. allspice
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1. Brown 1 cup pine nuts in 4 oz. butter.
2. Add vermicelli (or broken-up angel hair pasta) and brown both in butter.
3. In a separate pan, brown lamb and cook it till evenly cooked.
4. Crumble up lamb into little pieces. When done, add to the browned pine nuts and vermicelli, then add in the rice, broth, spices and bouillon cubes.
5. Cover and let it absorb the liquid while cooking slowly over low heat. Keep sampling and testing till rice is done and the broth has been absorbed. Just leave enough for others to have some!
John J. York
Where did your daughter, Schyler, get this recipe? “Schyler said she saw it on a cooking channel when she was about 12. It’s been a Thanksgiving staple — and I’ve been cleaning up after it — ever since!”
What do you bake the squash in before it goes into the soup pot? “I put them open-side down on nonstick foil and curl up the sides of the foil. You could use a baking sheet, but the squashes leak juice, so whatever you think is best so you don’t mess up your oven!”
Can you skip the step where you put the softened squash into the fridge? “Yes, as long as you make it that same day. If you’re going to make it the next day, you should put it in the fridge. It’s just what I do!”
You say to add chicken stock to “preferred thickness”, but how much do you recommend having on hand before attempting this recipe? “I get the chicken stock from Costco. Each box is one quart, and Schyler probably uses at least two boxes, and probably even more depending on how thick or thin you want the soup.”
Does this soup reheat well? “Oh, yeah, we always have leftovers and it lasts us for two or three days.”
Schyler’s Acorn Squash Soup
6 to 8 acorn squashes
1 to 2 sticks of butter
1 brown onion, finely grated
1 Tbsp. ginger, finely chopped
1 bulb of garlic (approximately 10 cloves), finely chopped
½ to 1 tsp. nutmeg
Breadsticks for serving
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut each acorn squash in half and clean out the seeds.
3. Bake until the inside of the squash is soft, about 45 minutes to an hour. Rest them until the squash is cool to handle. “Then I scoop all the squash into a big bowl, cover it and put it in the fridge until Schyler is ready to start making the soup.”
4. Transfer squash to a big pot and add chicken stock to preferred thickness.
5. In a separate pan, sauté 1 or 2 sticks of butter (“Schyler likes a lot of butter!”), the finely chopped ginger and garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper, all to taste. “This is an ‘eyeball’ recipe, not really any actual measurements involved — a little more of this, a little less than that, you be the judge!”
6. When that mixture is nicely sautéed together, add it to the squash and chicken stock. On a very low heat, stir the soup for “at least an hour or more, until people are ready to eat! Schyler has one of those nice electric hand blenders that help to make it nice and creamy, but if you don’t have one, a whisk is probably just fine. You are not constantly stirring, but checking on it and stirring it.”
7. The most important thing, according to Schyler: Serve the soup with breadsticks! Bon appétit!