This soup is a really great Thanksgiving starter course. Like my Fairytale Butternut Squash Soup, this soup is made by pureeing the pulp of two kinds winter squash (pumpkin and acorn squash) with some chicken broth and onions. This soup has a bit of a spicy bite to it though thanks to the thyme! I highly recommend making the whole wheat croutons. They’re just delicious in the soup.
1 medium pumpkin (about 3.5 lbs)
1 medium acorn squash (2 lbs)
4 tablespoons of butter, divided
2 tablespoons of honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 medium size sweet onion, chopped
4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup of 2% milk (or half and half)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin spice
Fresh ground pepper
Whole wheat croutons (recipe below)
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut and clean pumpkin and squash. Place the pumpkin and squash pieces on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave until melted. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Brush the sides of the pumpkin and squash with the mixture.
Bake the pumpkin and squash pieces in the oven for 45 minutes or until the pulp is tender. Let cool completely (this is important!) for about 20 minutes. Scoop out the pulp with a large spoon and discard the shells.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, saute for about 5 minutes until tender. Add thyme and sage; saute 1 minute.
Add the broth and pumpkin and squash pulp. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool another 10 minutes before adding it to a food processor or blender in batches to puree. After pureed, return the soup to the Dutch oven. Stir in milk, cider vinegar, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice and freshly ground pepper. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey and 1/3 teaspoon of salt. Cook over low heat and stir often.
Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with pumpkin seeds or whole wheat croutons or both. Serve immediately.
6 slices of good crusty whole wheat bread
3 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop the bread into large chunks and add to a mixing bowl. Melt the butter in the microwave. Pour the butter and olive oil over the croutons and immediately mix well. Sprinkle the thyme and garlic powder over the top. Spread the croutons on an aluminum foil lined pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned.
An Autumn Greeting
“Come,” said the Wind to the Leaves one day. “Come over the meadow and we will play. Put on your dresses of red and gold. For summer is gone and the days grow cold.”
Burning bright hues of amber, orange and yellow are symbolic with the autumn season but these colors aren’t only found in the changing leaves. Squash is also in season and this butternut squash soup recipe is the perfect remedy for those cold days when your body and your spirit need a little touch of warmth.
The word squash is derived from the Native American Narragansett word askutasquash, which means “thing eaten raw.” It was documented by Rhode Island founder Roger Williams in 1643 in his book, “A Key into the Language of America.”
Though squash is commonly considered to be a vegetable for culinary purposes, it’s actually a fruit. The rule of thumb is that any part of a plant that contains seeds is a fruit. Vegetables are leafy parts of the plant or roots, like spinach or carrots. Thus, the exterior of the squash is known as the flesh and the interior is known as the pulp. Squash has many culinary uses but is also grown competitively. (See my photos of the giant pumpkins from the Bloomsburg Fair!) Squash was also made into pottery by people of the ancient Moche culture in Peru.
In North America, there are generally two groups of squash: summer squash (immature fruit) or autumn/winter squash (mature fruit). The most popular type of summer squash is zuchinni. It is easy to grow and requires little cooking time or preparation. Winter squash, like acorn squash or butternut squash, is a bit more heartier and requires a lengthy cooking time. (But oooohhh is it worth the wait!) Pumpkins and gourds are also winter squash.
|Lady loves to lay next to the winter squash (pumpkins and gourds)!|
Butternut squash, a large vibrant yellowish/orange fruit, is at it’s peak during the fall season. It’s known in Australia and New Zealand as a butternut pumpkin. It is thought to have originated in Mexico and is very popular in Mexican cuisine. Grown on a vine, butternut squash has a yellow flesh and bright orange pulp. The ripper it is, the sweeter the flavor.
Butternut squash can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It is used in soups, salads, casseroles, breads, muffins, etc. It’s firm texture also makes it easy to grill and it is commonly found in South America as a side dish to barbecues.
Butternut squash is a good source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, magnessium and potassium. The best part about it is that it’s cheap and lasts for days. You can buy it and use it weeks later, at your own convenience. Here is a classic recipe for a thick, velvety, flavorful butternut squash soup. It’s healthy, easy to make and guilt-free because it’s made without any cream.
|A large butternut squash cut in half. When using, make sure to wash and discard the seeds.|
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter (or butter substitute to save calories)
1 large butternut squash, halved lengthwise, washed, with the seeds discarded (about 3 lbs)
1 large yellow cooking onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh sage, chopped (a bunch of large leaves)
6 cups of chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rub the olive oil on the cut side of the squash and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast about 45 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and butter. Add onion and celery. Sprinkle some salt. Saute about 10 minutes until tender.
Scoop out the butternut squash flesh (discarding the skin) into the pot. Add the chicken broth and a little salt to pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and use a food processor or hand immersion blender to puree the soup. You can also use a blender to puree the soup but make sure you work in batches! Return to the pot and keep the soup warm.
Optional: You can give this soup a mexican flare by adding some toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and a drizzle of sour cream. For a hearty Italian flare, try dipping in some crusty bread, or hearty pumpernickel croutons and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. But it’s equally as good on its own! 🙂