We got two butternut squash in our CSA box last Wednesday, and I’ve been eying several intriguing butternut squash recipes ever since… none of which I could find when I finally got down to it tonight. Instead, I ended up spinning off of the butternut squash & apple quinoa I made a couple weeks ago. I suspect this soup would be great with other winter squash as well, and the apple cider vinegar could carry it even if you don’t have an apple to spare. While not a meal on it’s own, this pungent, intensely flavorful soup certainly makes a strong entrance!
Butternut squash soup
1 butternut squash
1 apple, chopped (I prefer green, but either works)
A few splashes apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon each ginger, allspice, coriander, and chili powder
Salt, to taste
5-6 cups water
Roasted pecans or squash seeds for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Chop butternut squash into eights. Place in roasting pan and coat with oil. Roast for 40-75 minutes, or until tender, turning occasionally. (If you want, you can give them a head start by heating, covered, for 6-10 minutes in the microwave.) Meanwhile, chop up leek and apple. Sauté leek in oil at the bottom of a large soup pot. Add seasonings and apples and cook for another minute, then add apple cider vinegar and the spices and simmer for another minute or two. Add water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is finished roasting. When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop flesh out of skin, stir into soup, and simmer at least another 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, puree in a blender, adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy! Roasted squash seeds make an attractive garnish, though the crunch is admittedly a bit awkward. Pecans also add a nice touch.
Note: To roast squash seeds, scoop innards out of squash, then squeeze out seeds and rinse to clean off most of the stringy innards. Let drain or spread out to dry on a towel. This can be labor intensive, but you don’t have to worry about them being fully clean or dry. Coat with oil and salt or any desired seasonings and roast at 300ºF for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp and crunchy with a delightful toasty flavor. They may not turn fully golden or strongly aromatic, and if you wait until they do, you risk them starting to develop a slightly bitter, burnt flavor.