Okay, it’s just butternut squash. Part of the background of a New England Fall, along with pumpkins, apples, and scarlet and yellow leaves. But taking a closer look, it’s easy to sing the praises of this amazing vegetable. Technically, it’s a fruit, but it seems more realistic, if not accurate, to put it in the veggie category.
It’s hard to resist buying one or more when you see them piled high in the grocery store and at the farm stands. The good news is that it can sit on your counter for weeks doing double duty as a fall decoration without losing any of its food value. And that food value is amazingly high. If you do a bit of research on the nutritional value of butternut squash, you’ll find that it’s a powerful source of Potassium and Vitamin A. It’s heart healthy, being low in fat and salt and high in fiber. It’s also low in calories. And it tastes great. What more can you want?
There are more uses for butternut squash than it would be possible to list. Everything from soups and stews and lasagna and risotto to pies and breads. One of my favorites is a simple soup that I’ve adapted from an Ina Garten recipe. ( “Winter Squash Soup” Barefoot In Paris )
Butternut Squash Soup
2 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
2 C onions, chopped
1 can plain pumpkin (15 oz.)
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 C chicken broth
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 C half and half
1. Saute the onions in the olive oil and butter until soft. Using a good pot with a heavy bottom will keep things from sticking.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the half and half.
3. Cover and simmer over a low to moderate heat until the squash is soft. About 15 minutes.
4. Puree the mixture using an immersion blender or a food mill or a food processor.
5. Add the half and half and heat. Adjust the seasoning.
This soup tastes like Fall!