Like most of you, I try to cook ‘in season’ as much as possible. It cost a fortune to buy produce out of season. These days, who needs to spend that extra money on fruits and veggies coming from half way around the globe, right?
Lately I’ve found myself buying a whole butternut squash at least once a week. No matter how hard I try, and trust me I’ve tried, my son won’t eat it. I’ll keep trying because one day he’ll tell me he loves it and I’m crazy to think he ever thought different. In the meantime, I’ve tried to come up with ways to cook it that my husband and I will like. My favorite is soup. Sometimes butternut squash soup is too sweet, cloyingly sweet. I like dessert (love it in fact) but, don’t want it for dinner.
I think the soup recipe I’ve come up with is just the right balance. It’s spicy, savory, and just a tiny bit sweet. It takes no time to make and keeps in the fridge for 3-4 days, in fact you could even freeze it. I served it last time with sandwiches of spicy Italian sausages, fresh mozzarella, and broccoli rabe pesto. That was a good meal!
Just-Right Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium butternut squash, 1½-2 pounds
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of red pepper flakes, or more to taste
4 cups chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise then again in half crosswise. Scoop the seeds out of the bottom halves then sprinkle all four pieces with salt and pepper. Drizzle a baking sheet with olive oil and place the squash pieces, cut side down, on the sheet. Roast in the preheated oven until completely tender (a sharp knife should go in and out of the squash with no resistance), 20-30 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add the onion, cayenne, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft and tender, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt.
When the squash is tender, peel the skin off with a knife or just pull it off. Put the squash in the pan with the onions, add the chicken stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cook just until the squash begins to break apart, 10-15 minutes.
Transfer the mixture, in batches, to the blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot, add a bit of water if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings