Can you believe it’s November already?! Halloween is over, Christmas commercials will replace all those annoying election ads (praise be!), and soon it will be time to start planning our Thanksgiving menus. As I was making this wonderful, creamy fall soup tonight, I couldn’t help but think that it would make such an elegant starter course for your family fall get-togethers or even your Thanksgiving meal. Yes, the turkey is normally the star of the show, but I say there’s a cornucopia of fall vegetables (like the butternut squash) that deserve their fair moment in the spotlight too.
I’ve discovered that squash can be a little tough to work with. It takes a lot of effort to get that well-deserved reward, but I promise you the smell of cutting open your beautiful gourd makes it all worth the struggle. I took my first stab – no pun intended 🙂 – at cutting up a fresh butternut squash tonight. There are a lot of different tips online, but me and my small muscles were by ourselves, so here’s what worked for us:
*Puncture the squash a few times with a knife and microwave it for about 1:30 to soften it a bit.
*Very carefully, I used a heavy-duty serrated knife to cut off the top of the squash. Then I used the knife to pare off the thick skin along the shaft of the squash.
*I went on to slice the flesh of the shaft into round discs, then chopped the discs into the chunks you see below. Once I got to the rounded section of the squash, I went on to pare off the skin, slice the flesh in half, scoop out the seeds and then cut the remaining flesh into more chunks.
As you probably know if you’ve been following my journey… I’m in love with curry soups! I thought this would be a great opportunity to make more of a savory meal out of the squash, and I turned it up another notch by adding crispy bacon, but you could certainly leave that out if you’d prefer a strictly vegetarian dish.
Hopefully all your ghosts and goblins… and iron mans and princesses… stayed warm and dry this Halloween! Don’t forget to set your clocks back this weekend!
1 Butternut Squash
1 small yellow onion, sliced
2 small yukon potatoes, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 14 oz can of chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 tablespoon of yellow curry
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon thyme
5 slices of bacon
1. Peel and chop squash as described above. Place in a glass roasting pan and coat with the olive oil, then sprinkle with salt pepper. Heat oven to 350 and roast squash for 30-40 minutes until tender.
2. While squash is cooking, slice bacon into small pieces and cook in your soup pot until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
3. Saute diced onion and chopped garlic in the bacon renderings left in the pot, 4-5 minutes.
5. Add diced potato, roasted squash, curry, cinnamon, thyme and chicken broth to the pot.
6. Bring to a boil, then let simmer 10-15 minutes.
7. Using a hand blender, blend the soup until creamy. If you’re using a food processor, blend in batches making sure to let the soup cool a bit first so you don’t burn yourself.
8. Once soup is blended, mix in half the bacon. Use the remaining bacon to sprinkle over the soup in the individual bowls.