Cooking with local, seasonal fruits and vegetables is my favorite. Not only is it healthier for you due to the freshness of the ingredient (ie- nutrients,) but it's also better for the environment. Cooking in season requires food to travel a shorter distance, thereby emitting less fuel into the atmosphere. Also, fall vegetables are soooooo yummehhhhhh!
Over the weekend, dear ol' Dad sent me parting from the farm with his usual goodies- cheese, bread, pâté, chips, etc- and snuck in a local butternut squash at the last minute. What else is there to do but make a butternut squash soup?
What You Need:
(Makes enough to enjoy now and freeze for later!)
- 2 quarts homemade chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarians)
- 1 butternut squash- the bigger the better!
- 2 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 large red Apple, chopped
- 1 bunch of carrots (about 1 1/2 cups, peeled and chopped)
- 1 small handful sage (about 1 1/2 tbsp, roughly chopped)
- 1/2 tsp of nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 clove
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp of black pepper
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 large pot or slow-cooker
- 1 immersion blender
Prepare your butternut squash. There are 2 options here:
1. Buy packets of pre-chopped butternut squash at your local supermarket. This is going to be slightly more expensive as someone else has done the dirty work.
2. Purchase a whole butternut squash and roast it in the oven at 350F for 45-60 minutes or until it's nice and soft. Remove it from the oven, let it cool for a few minutes and you'll notice the skin starts to deflate. This makes it super easy to remove. Then, simply cut the flesh into cubes. When you get to the bulbous part, simply use a spoon to remove the seeds. Another benefit of roasting the squash is that you release the flavor even more intensely.
While you roast the squash, roughly chop and throw the remaining ingredients into either a slow-cooker or a stove-top pot. Don't worry about uniformity here because everything will be puréed at the end! If you're working on a stove-top, set the heat to high and when the pot starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cover. For the slow-cooker method, just cover it on high and let it be. When the squash is ready, add it to the pot.
Cover and simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer you cook this the better, which is why the slow-cooker is a great option! You can make this before you leave for work and it will be ready when you get home.
Use an immersion blender to smooth the soup into a delicious puree. Serve with crusty french bread and garnish with fresh sage!