Butternut squash is considered a “winter” or hard squash. Unlike it’s botanical cousin, the zucchini, butternut squash can store for months without refrigeration and is traditionally harvested at the end of the northern growing season (hence, “winter”). Nutritionally, butternut is high in fiber, lutein (good for your eyes), and potassium. The skin will need to be peeled or removed but the seeds can be roasted and eaten for a crunchy treat. For a delicious warm holiday soup, try the butternut squash soup recipe below. Ellen learned this recipe in South Africa where it’s traditionally eaten (in a past life when Ellen went into gold mines underground to sample extremophile bacteria for NASA- ask her about it sometime!)
Ellen’s Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
1) Cut in half and roast all the butternut squash and sweet potatoes from the box at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, skin on and seeds removed. Once cool, scoop the flesh away from the skin and set aside.
2) Coat the bottom of a large pot with a generous amount of olive oil. Add chopped onions, 1 tbs curry powder, 1 tbs cumin, 1 tsp salt and a dash of cinnamon and chili powder. Cook for about 5 minutes on mediums till onions are translucent.
3) Add sweet potato and butternut squash to pot and stir to coat. Add a little more salt and pepper.
4) Cover with chicken or vegetable broth (about 6 cups or to cover about 1″ above contents of soup). Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
5) Puree soup and add more spices to your liking. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds and a swirl of heavy cream.