Fall Foodie Binge

October 20th, 2011

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I love to cook but I tend to go in waves.  I won’t have the energy to do much more than get a basic dinner on the table for weeks and then suddenly I get an itch and go into a cooking frenzy.  It happened this week, starting with my first-even attempt at homemade applesauce.  I cooked up a vat in my crock pot while working from home on Monday.  It was delicious.

Today, it’s 45 degrees, cloudy, and blustery.  Perfect harvest cooking weather.  Is there anything better than a freshly-baked pumpkin muffin on a gloomy chilly evening?  I thought not.  I whipped up a big batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins tonight after the kiddos were in bed.  I ended up with twelve big muffins and 24 mini-muffins.  I’m planning to freeze most of them to dole out on future mornings as a nice breakfast nibblet for the kiddos (and myself).
It was the first time I’d ever cooked with pumpkin.  My mother is a notorious pumpkin-hater and some of her prejudice had rubbed off on me.  It’s only been in recent years that I have begun to tentatively embrace pumpkins as a food source and not just a Halloween decoration, though I’m still very skeptical of pumpkin pie.

Similarly, I’m fairly new to the world of butternut squash (I again blame my mother) but it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite vegetables.  Sadly, my husband and children side with my mom so I’m usually eating it solo.  Tonight, we had meatloaf and mashed potatoes but in addition to the spuds, I roasted some squash.  It was heavenly.  But since I was the only one who ate it, there was a lot left over.  What to do?

Make butternut squash soup, of course.

Thus I give you my newly-created recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.  It’s a bit imprecise but it’s forgiving so that’s okay.

1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1-2 cups of water

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, toss the squash cubes with the olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Spread the squash cubes on the baking tray and bake for 12 minutes.  Remove tray, stir squash, then bake for another 8 minutes.

At this point, you can pause and devour a big bowl of the delicious squash nuggets.  They’re sort of like candy, so indulge a bit before proceeding.

Puree the squash with 1 cup of chicken broth in a food processor or blender.  Transfer puree to a large saucepan and stir in the additional 1/2 cup of chicken broth and as much water as you need to reach the desired consistency. You’ll end up needing a lot of liquid or your “soup” will more closely resemble herb-infused baby food!

2 responses to “Fall Foodie Binge”

  1. G'Mom says:

    I think I've been unjustly maligned on the butternut squash issue. I think we need to place the blame squarely on both of your grandmothers. Neither of them fixed it, so Dad and I didn't grow up with yummy squash memories, and none of my Go-to cookbooks had good recipes for roasted butternut squash. But now that you've acquainted me with the joys of this glorious vegetable, I have collected several recipes – and even fixed them!

  2. Isa says:

    Well, allow me to step in and add some seasoned (ha!) advice–use butternut squash instead of pumpkin for everything. It's much richer and tastier for everything from muffins to pie to soup. And the effort to cut it in half and throw it in the oven (on an oiled baking sheet) until it's cooked through isn't really THAT much more than opening a can…but soooo worth it!

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