BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP–and other surprises!

One of the best things about living in Arizona is that it is a place where there are literally two different worlds.  The desert–which is hot.  And the mountains, which are cool.  We spend time in the White Mountains–Show Low, Taylor, Greer–which is full of Pine trees.  And the desert in the winter, which is full of cactus!  But that contrast  also means that the seasons for food are different.  For instance, in a week or two we will have Taylor Sweet corn–which was in season months ago in the “Valley” (Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa).  In the White Mountains, my sweet Zumba Friend, Tess, gave me 4 beautiful butternut squashes last week, and I made her some soup out of it–and also some wonderful snacks.  Butternut squash is in season here, but won’t be in the Valley for a couple more months.  So hang on to this one.  It’s a goodie!

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Peel squash and cut in half.  Remove seeds as clean as possible.
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chop into dice-sized pieces.  Toss in a big bowl with olive oil and a little salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees about 20 minutes.

The above picture is the way I always prepare my squash for recipes.  Sometimes Larry and I just eat it like candy.  It is so sweet and delicious!  But today, I was on the Soup Train for Tess!  So, all the above went into the big pot. (We stole and ate a few…) Here’s the basic recipe.  Adjust your amounts according to how much squash you have.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

1 butternut squash, peeled, chopped, and roasted as in picture above

1 small chopped onion

1 peeled and chopped apple (your favorite.  I used Honey Crisp this time)

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Saute onion and apple in a little oil until they are limp but not brown.  Add squash (2-3 cups) and cover with about 2 cups broth*

*Notes about liquid.  I NEVER use just water in my soups.  Always some kind of broth, and as you know if you read my blog, I make my own (about a tsp. of soup base per cup of water).  So, in this soup I used chicken broth.  But if you are a vegetarian, there are very nice Veggie soup bases out there…..Smart and Final comes to mind.  As I always say in every recipe containing broth, Go Easy!  Too much base make the broth too salty.

Simmer  ingredients about 15 minutes.  Taste broth and then put it all into a blender.  A Vitamix is so awesome….but you can also just use an immersion blender.

Put the smooth soup back into the pan and add about one cup milk, 1/2 and 1/2 OR cream.  I often use Evaporated milk for my soups.  Nobody seems to notice a difference. But because this was a gift for someone, I used REAL cream this time…..mmmmmmm……

Stir in and just heat through.  (Boiling cream sometimes ends up curdling it.). Serve!

 

 


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