Have You Fallen For Squash?

Everywhere I go, I see pumpkins. Gorgeous gourds on display and so many different varieties. The fact that they are all grown in Texas makes them that much more attractive.

These lovely little sugar pie pumpkins
are best for baking.

Add that to the growing number of houses in the neighborhood that are (over-) decorated for Halloween...I never knew the goblin and ghost holiday was so popular!

But I am not one to rush the season. In fact, we don't buy a pumpkin until October 15. And our holiday wreath is hung on or about December 12-15. Despite the fact that the food magazines arriving in our mailbox are also featuring holiday covers, I am not quite there yet. I like to ease into the holiday spirit.

I thought a butternut squash soup might help me do just that. Last year, I made a marvelous butternut squash soup with pear and apple for Thanksgiving. I can still taste it. It was sublime. So when I went searching for a similar recipe, I thought this one might be a winner. Like the other soup, it's simple, uses no broth and adds a touch of fresh ginger.

Considering I have three locally grown butternut squash stashed away from the summer, this was just what I need to officially welcome fall. Now if I could put on a sweater, that would be even better!

Buen provecho!

Pureed Butternut Squash Soup
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this from Martha Stewart's recipe

Print recipe

I tend to cook using the ingredients I have on hand. If I don't have something, I replace it with something I do have. That's what cooking is about. Making do with what you have. So while the original recipe calls for orange juice, I opted for apple cider instead. Apple cider is very much in season right now and orange juice is not, plus it's what I had.

When David tried this soup, he said, "Psychedelic!" The simplicity of the flavors combined with the sour cream and texture of the nuts is fantastic. It was a warm way to welcome fall into our lives.

Serves 4

2 Tablespoons butter, Smart Balance or olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 3/4 pounds small butternut squash, peeled, sliced and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh apple cider
1 teaspoon Kosher or Maldon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sour cream, optional
Toasted nuts, optional (I used walnuts, but you could use also pumpkin seeds or pecans)
Fresh sage, chopped, optional

Melt butter or oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Cook onion until softened and fragrant, about 2-4 minutes. Add chopped ginger, garlic and butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant--about 5-8 minutes.

Onion, ginger, garlic and butternut squash

Peeled and halved butternut squash
that needs to be deseeded

Sliced and diced butternut squash

Stir in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup or puree soup in batches in the blender. Return pureed soup to the put and stir in apple juice, 1 teaspoon salt and generously add fresh black pepper. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream, more black pepper, toasted seeds and/or fresh sage, if desired.


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