Food for Thought
Fall Squash in the Spring
During a recent trip to the grocery store I stumbled upon a package of pre-cut butternut squash, which to me was very exciting because, firstly, butternut squash is extremely difficult to peel and cut, and secondly, one of my favorite soups is roasted butternut squash soup which is usually more in season during the fall. So, I bought two packages. But just because it’s spring does not mean we cannot enjoy a bit of an earthy, delicious fall favorite in the early spring. This creamy butternut squash soup features pureed butternut squash and onion and highlights the rich, sweet flavor of this winter squash. Roasting concentrates the flavor of the vegetables. If you like, add a couple of cloves of garlic.
Just because the weather is warming up it’s no reason to forget how great a butternut squash soup tastes. This soup is a luscious, smooth soup, delicately seasoned with nutmeg—perfect for cool autumn evenings at home or to start your spring menus.
It’s also a good time to buy squash from your produce supplier. The price is reduced toward the end of the season. Try it.
Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium onion diced
3 tablespoons sweet butter
2 butternut squash, about 3-4 pounds, diced into 1-inch cubes or a package of pre-cut
5 cups vegetable stock, or enough to cover squash in pot Use chicken stock if you prefer.
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Pinch cayenne pepper
Juice of half a lemon
½ cup whipping cream
Sauté onions in butter in a heavy-bottomed stock pot until soft. Add peeled and diced squash to same pot and then add vegetable stock until it reaches about a half inch over the squash. Bring contents of pot to a simmer, but take care it never boils. Continue simmering until squash is tender and breaks apart easily, about 1 hour. Stir in brown sugar, rest of spices and lemon juice and while stirring let simmer for 10 minutes longer.
At this point, puree mixture with immersion stick blender if available, or remove mixture from pot and puree until smooth with blender or food processor. Once smooth, return to pot and whisk in cream, incorporating fully. Reminisce a little about fall this spring day over a bowl of savory and creamy roasted butternut squash soup. Serve with some shredded sage as garnish.
Yield: 6-8 servings