Of all the winter squashes, butternut is my favorite. It's creamy, subtly sweet, and versatile. Tossed with olive oil and a drizzle of maple syrup, you can roast it in cubes and/or mash up for a flavorful side dish. Add to pancake batter for a fall twist, or substitute the puréed flesh for pumpkin in a pie. One of the best things I've ever made was this warm roasted butternut squash salad from Minimalist Baker (love this blog!). It was my contribution to the holiday spread a few Thanksgivings ago, and I've had requests for it every year since.
How to peel and cut a butternut:
- Slice off 1/4 inch from each end (stem and bottom)
- Cut the round bottom section from the longer neck, leaving 2 pieces with flat edges
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin
- Cut halves in half; scoop out seeds
- Slice chunks lengthwise and horizontally, leaving you with 1" cubes
Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt + freshly ground pepper, to taste
Crumbled goat cheese
Green apple, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Carefully slice butternut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place cut-side down on parchment lined baking sheet and roast in oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and easily pierced with a fork.
- Sauté onion and red pepper with remaining olive oil for 2 minutes in large pot over medium heat; add garlic and thyme, stirring until onion is translucent. Add in chicken stock, spices, pumpkin, salt, pepper, coconut milk and roasted butternut squash (scooped from skin).
- Purée ingredients with immersion blender (or in glass blender) until velvety smooth.
- Garnish and serve.