I am currently trying to embrace the autumn season by eating more gourds. There are several delectables available this time of year. The Cooks Thesaurus has a great page that identify winter squash and includes pictures that are really handy. Squash do not give up their fruit easily though! I must have wimpy kitchen knives because I have to hack and saw my squash to get it into a cook-able form. Simple directions for baking squash say to cut the squash lengthwise, spoon out seeds, then place cut side down in a baking pan filled with ¼ inch of water and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350°F.
Within the last two weeks I have wrestled a butternut and a delicata squash (and I have a sugar pumpkin waiting in the fridge). Neither presented such an easy task to simply cut and scoop. I mostly had to resort to a round and round scoring where I would just get my knife stuck half way. I finished off with several karate chops (sound effects and all) onto the kitchen counter to knock my knife the final inch or two through the squash’s flesh. After creating a shaggy and asymmetrical halved squash I used a sturdy spoon to fling the seeds all over the floor instead of into the garbage can. Many of the sticky seeds ended up on the bottom of my socks. Finally I baked the sucker and ate it!
I found this recipe on Whole Foods Market. Com for butternut squash soup. I modified the recipe to my own tastes. I added several diced parsnips to the ingredients. The soup is a little bland so extra pepper was needed and I may consider some other spices next time I make it. I also used water instead of chicken broth because I did not have any at the time. I mostly followed the cooking directions but instead of puréeing the soup with a blender I used my potato masher to do the job. The soup is chunkier and has identifiable tasty bits. Other than cutting the squash, the recipe was very simple and enjoyable. It re-heats well for lunches and should do fine in the freezer for later eating. It is one of my new favorite recipes.
WHOLE FOODS MARKET:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add carrot, celery and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée soup. Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches in a traditional blender.