I grew up in a family that loves fruits and vegetables, and I’m glad I carried that love into my adulthood. I revel in finding new ways to incorporate produce into a recipe, or a new way to serve a certain fruit or vegetable.
I think I’ve only had butternut squash a couple of ways — roasted and served hot with the skin on — like a baked potato, with butter and brown sugar melting on top — or the same way, only skinless and pureed. Both completely delicious.
But let’s be real: butternut squash isn’t all that flavorful on its own, so you have to “doctor it up” (as my dad would say) to help it reach its full potential. Hence the butter and sugar.
Since expanding my palette in my adult years, I’ve become more attuned to seasonal cooking. I love seeing what’s local and fresh and learning how to use those crops in every way I can while the harvest is bountiful.
I’ve lived in the Midwest most of my life, and one of my favorite things about it is experiencing all four seasons. There’s a rhythm you fall into when the seasons change.
I went to the farmer’s market last week — which really put me in the fall spirit. The weather’s cooled down considerably, and now jackets and scarves are a requirement.
I bundled myself and loaded up the cart with two pumpkins and lots of produce — including a butternut squash. I’ve never made a soup like this before and it turned out so delicious! I’ve been eating the left overs since Friday — which have been totally hitting the spot in this weather.
Creamy, warm, and perfect — especially when topped with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe adapted from Food Network
Makes approximately 8 to 10 servings
You will need:
1 medium yellow onion
2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 and 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 butternut squash
1 pint half and half
1/2 t. nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
2. Cut top of butternut squash off, removing stem. Slice squash in half. Take a spoon and remove all seeds and membranes.
3. Place squash, sliced side up, on baking sheet and roast for 45-60 minutes in the oven, until fork tender.
4. Remove squash, let cool slightly, and peel off outer skin. Chop cooked squash into medium sized pieces, put in a bowl, and set aside.
5. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil. Dice onion into small pieces and chop leek into thin coins. Add onion and leek to pan and saute until soft. Add in butter, let melt, and cook another 3 minutes or so.
6. Turn off heat. In a food processor or blender, add cooked squash, sauteed leek and onion, half and half, and vegetable stock. Puree until smooth.
7. Pour mixture into a large soup pot and warm over medium-low heat. Add in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Let simmer about 15 to 20 minutes and serve warm, with some ground cinnamon sprinkled on top.