After my last death-defying experience cutting up a butternut squash, I have to admit that I nearly succumbed to the oh-so-tempting, pre-peeled, pre-cut cubes that I found at Whole Foods. I even put the packaged butternut goodness IN MY CART.
But I know that when I have my CSA next year, I won't have that choice: I'll have to man up and face the squash. So out went the beautiful, golden hunks wrapped in cellophane and styrofoam (eek! are we still using styrofoam?) and in went the fresh-from-the-ground, whole butternut squash.
When I got home and got out my huge knife, I had a pang of regret. When I tried to scoop the flesh out of the skin and it kept getting stuck, I had more than a pang of regret.
But it was worth it. I'm finding that there is nothing more satisfying than starting with a whole food and ending up with a finished meal. Especially when it's really hard to do.
Cutting the butternut squash was really the only hard part about my butternut squash and green apple soup. I started with this recipe, and then made it my own.
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
2 tart green apples, peeled, cored, chopped (chop second apple only just before serving)
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon garam masala
Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat and heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes, taking care to turn the heat down if the vegetables begin to brown.
Add squash, 1 chopped apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until squash and carrots soften. Puree with an immersion blender.
Serve into bowls, sprinkle with garam masala, and top with chopped apples (it is best if you chop the apple right before serving so that none of the pieces turns brown).
This beautiful soup was really easy to stay on top of while entertaining (read: drinking wine), but looked and tasted special for a nice dinner with friends.