Oh man. After cutting my finger while making apple crisp (followed by a complete avalanche of that-kind-of-a-day occurrences), I made this Butternut squash soup to add some positivity to the day. Its bright and perfect-for-fall color has the ability to instantly brighten an overcast fall afternoon, and the subtle taste of ginger will knock anyone tasting it off of their feet. I don’t suggest anyone rake leaves while enjoying it.
The smooth and creamy texture tastes just like someone stole autumn and pureed it in a blender. I’m not sure if that description makes this recipe more or less enticing, but I’m telling you that it’s a definite must-try for the months of October thru December. Prepare some this week and freeze it for later–you’ll have weekends worth of harvest zuppe that will perk you up faster than an espresso-shooting puppy (althought I can’t guarantee this and I don’t speak from experience).
Butternut Squash Soup
(Yields ~4 large servings – Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
2 tbs. butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 3/4 pounds small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Juice from 1 orange
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Sour cream, (optional)
1 cup raw green pumpkin seeds
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
To make pumpkin seeds, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin seeds, chili powder, cayenne pepper, coarse salt, and fresh lime juice; toss to coat. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper; bake until puffed and browned, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion about 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, parsnips, and squash; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until squash is tender, 20 minutes.
Puree soup in two batches; remove the cap from the hole of the blender’s lid and cover with a dish towel to allow heat to escape. Stir in orange juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Serve hot, with sour cream, pepper, and pumpkin seeds, if desired.