Butternut Squash Soup
All of a sudden, it’s soup weather.
Crisp cool mornings. Sunny afternoons. The gorgeous fall foliage. Honey crisp apples. Perfect sleeping weather.
Ok, that’s the end of my list. Knowing winter will follow is the only downside to this time of year. In the fall, local squash is in season; ours come from Isaac’s garden. You can’t get fresher organic produce anywhere!
So, what better way to enjoy the beautiful butternut squash Isaac gave me last week than in a delicious creamy soup. Wait until you read how easy this one is. We went nuts for this soup the first time Emily made it for us last year, scraping our bowls and asking for seconds and thirds. I’ve been asking her to make it for us again ever since. Ok, so sometimes I may have nagged her, but hey, we like our soup. She was kind enough to share her recipe, and then I watched her prepare it for Sukkot. When it’s soup weather, I’m happy to eat a hearty soup and a salad for dinner every day.
The hardest thing about making this soup is cutting the squash. The larger the squash, the more difficult. They have very tough skins, which is why, I suppose, the deer, squirrels, and rabbits didn’t devour the squash the way they did everything else Isaac grew. So tackle that task with a sharp knife and cutting board. I’ve found that I can add more water or broth to make it thinner or less liquid to have it thicker, depending on my mood. Usually I go for the thicker consistency, but either is fine. Just don’t dilute it too much, or it might taste too bland. You can add as many or few seasonings and spices as you like, but we’ve found we like rubbed sage the best. Once I didn’t have sage so I added a bit of poultry seasoning, and that was nice too. Some people enjoy cinnamon as a complement to acorn and butternut squash, so it’s all really a matter of personal taste. I say experiment and see what you like best. Betayavon! Enjoy!
- Butternut Squash
- Organic Vegetable Broth (1 Qt)
- Dab of Oil or No-Stick
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional seasonings: garlic powder, rubbed sage (*my favorite), cumin, curry, cinnamon. I just wouldn’t suggest using all of these in the same pot of soup!
- Large roasting pan
- Sharp Knife and cutting board
- Large spoon for scooping out seeds and strings
- Pyrex dish if you want to roast the seeds
- Aluminum foil
- Food Processor
- Large Pot and Spoon for stirring
- Ladle for serving and soup bowls and spoons
Using a sharp knife and cutting board, cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the stringy insides, which will also contain the seeds inside the tangle of squash innards. If you want to use the seeds, separate them from the stringy material and wash the seeds. We like to roast them in a pyrex dish with a bit of sea salt while baking the squash. But the seeds won’t take nearly as long as the squash, so keep an eye on them to prevent burning. They’re nice on top of the soup, natural croutons, I guess you could call them. You just want them to be fully cooked, browned, and crispy. Our son David loves them. If you don’t want to save the seeds, just discard them.
Enough about seeds already; let’s talk about cleaning out the inside of the squash. Use a spoon to scoop out what you can, and then place the halves of squash on the roasting pan that you sprayed with a bit of no-stick spray or a dab of olive or coconut oil. Wash the apple, and wrap the apple in foil, and peel the onion and wrap it too, in foil. Place the apple and onion on the roasting pan next to the squash and bake on 375 for about an hour, if the squash is sizable. The apple won’t take that long, so remove it after 20 minutes or so- when it can be squeezed or pierced with a fork. It will resemble a baked apple (sans the cinnamon). The same with the onion. But if you happen to forget about them (as I’ve done-ahem), and the apple and onion get too soft and mushy, fear not, as it won’t hurt anything. But you’ll have less of them, as they will shrink. You may have to bake the squash longer than an hour, depending on the thickness. We’ve baked squash that were so large they stayed in the oven for up to two hours. Just keep checking and when you can easily pierce it with a fork, it’s done.
Remove everything from the oven and let it cool. When cool, add to the food processor, along with the Organic Vegetable Broth. Transfer to large soup pot and heat until soup comes to a boil. Add more water, if you want a thinner soup, or keep it on the thicker side, depending on your personal preference. Add salt and pepper to taste, and if you like, a bit of sage, or garlic, or curry, or cumin, or cinnamon. I just wouldn’t suggest using all of these in the same pot of soup!