Fall Food: Butternut Squash

Fall is usually met with a collective sigh of relief throughout the US. Even if you like summer, there’s still something nice about sweating less, slipping on a sweater, or curling up under a blanket. (I know some of my colleagues hate Starbucks, but I don’t consider it autumn until pumpkin spice lattes come back.) What better time to spend a little extra time making a seasonal soup with butternut squash?

There are many recipes for this soup online, but I’ve picked the recipe from Joy of Cooking. Butternut squash can be swapped for most other winter squashes.

Butternut Squash Soup

First, prepare the squash by baking it:
Preheat the oven to 375°F and cut one large butternut squash into halves, quarters, or slabs.
Remove any seeds and strings. Arrange the squash cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Add ¼ inch water to the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until the squash is tender, 30 to 45 minutes. (Optional: halfway through baking, uncover the pan and brush with butter or vegetable oil, and sprinkle with brown sugar, nutmeg, or another spice) Put aside.

Heat in a soup pot over medium-low heat:
3 tablespoons butter of vegetable oil
Add and cook, stirring, until the leeks are tender but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes:
2 large leeks, white part only, chopped
4 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger

Scrape the cooled squash flesh from the skin and stir in along with:
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Heat through. Serve garnished with:
Chopped parsley or cilantro

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