Seasonal Obsession – Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

I love the butternut squash.  It is one of my favorite ingredients ever.  I love the beautiful orange center and its smooth, pale-orange skin.  I love its graceful, hourglass shape and the ease of preparation.  Most of all I love the silky texture and rich flavor of this abundant fall fruit. According to Scott Cunningham, squashes will “increase awareness of the nonphysical reality” that surrounds us, making this an ideal food for Witches and other folk who like to work with the subtle energies of the world. 1

Butternut can be made savory or sweet and is widely available this time of year. If you live in a temperate clime, look for local options at Farmer’s Markets or CSA’s. Each year I eagerly await the ripening of the winter squashes just so I can make the following soup. I prefer my soup to be a little sweet, which is why I season it with nutmeg and cinnamon; but you can make a savory version by supplementing different herbs and spices. Enjoy this creamy soup with a chunk of peasant bread. It’s the perfect comfort food for chilly days and cold nights.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 4 c fat-free vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Remove the skin of the squash with a vegetable peeler.  Cut the squash in half to remove the seeds.  Cut the squash into 1-inch chunks.
  2. Peel the carrot, the onion, and garlic.  Cut the carrot and onion into 1-inch chunks.
  3. Put all the veggies in a large bowl.  Add a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Add salt and pepper and toss to coat.
  4. Pour the veggies out into a large baking dish.  Bake in a 400ºF oven for 30 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender.
  5. Finish the veggies under the broiler for 5 – 10 minutes to add color and caramelization.  Believe me, the browned bits of onion add so much flavor when the soup is done.
  6. Remove the veggies from the oven and allow them to cool a bit.  Have your blender ready.
  7. Begin blending the veggies with the vegetable broth in small batches; making sure each batch is well blended.  Blend this soup longer than you would think.  The longer blending removes the graining texture and delivers a superior flavor.
  8. Pour the blended mixture into a large pot over medium heat.  Add the soy milk and stir well.
  9. Add the cinnamon and the nutmeg.  And please, please, please, don’t rob yourself of genuine flavor by using pre-ground nutmeg. Buy the nutmeg whole and grind what you need for each recipe.  Your taste buds will thank you.
  10. Continue to stir until the entire mixture is heated through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

1. Cunningham, Scott. (1990). Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen.  Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

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