Butternut Squash Soup, September Captured

“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.” ~ Samuel Butler

Speaking of fruits, the squash, for me anyway, screams autumn! And not in just a jack-o-lantern of way. A perpetual squash-something-or-rather can be plucked from our fridge here through January.  They’re cheap to buy, easy to grow, [most] can be stored right on the countertop or in a cool basement or garage, and their flesh adds vital winter nutrients and texture to just about any cooked dish.  My absolute favorite squash recipe is Curried Butternut Squash Soup.  I like to keep some on hand for those comfort moments where others might lean on a Starbucks latte.  It just feels like a warm hug in a mug…without all the nasty stuff or a long wait in the line.

Hard (or “winter”) squashes can be easily grown in a backyard garden.  My kids will tell you that you don’t need a green-thumb to grow just about every squash variety — it might even take over your yard.  Every year, volunteers sprout up where they feel like in my small garden area, and I never quite know what it is until the flower turns to fruit.  Some years it’s pumpkin, but it’s also been summer, zucchini, cushaw, and, yes, butternut.

Butternut is prized for its nutty flavor and firm texture.  It is a perfect addition to any meal, as a warm-or-cold topper for a salad, or served warm drizzled with cinnamon and raw sugar, topped with iced cream (mine is coconut) for dessert.  Mmm.

And now, for the real personalities of this blog, I bring you, September.

Off_To_Roost
White Ibis – Flying to meet up with friends at the favorite roosting spot
Cooper’s Hawk, Juvenile
Evening_Showers
A little playtime between the showers
Soggy_Mama
Female Cardinal — Every good mama deserves her soak in the tub
Moon_At_Dusk
Daytime Sun Companion
All_Mine
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird — “Don’t even think about it, Buddy. Find your own feeder.”
Hanging on for dear life
Willet and Crab (hanging on for dear life)
Keeping babies safe and sound
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks – Keeping babies safe and sound is what Moms do

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Vegan.  Dairy-free.  Gluten-free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small to medium onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp vegetable curry
  • 1 qt vegetable broth
  • 1 large butternut squash, 3/4″ cube (or pre-roasted)
  • 1 15-oz can coconut milk (full fat)
  • salt (to taste)

Tools that are useful:  Stick blender, very sharp butcher knife

Directions:

  1. a) Pre-roast the squash for a quicker cook-time!  Slice the squash in half lengthwise with a large knife and remove the seeds and membrane.  (The seeds can be roasted and eaten separately.) Spray the flesh lightly with olive oil or cooking spray, and roast uncovered on a baking dish skin-side-down for 30 mins in 400-degree oven/grill.  Let cool, then peel and slice/dice, which is easier to do once the squash is cooked. Keep leftover in the fridge until ready to use.
    b) Peel and dice an entire fresh squash into 3/4-inch pieces.  Hold the knife in the air and wave it like a saber in battle, for you are brave.
  2. In a 3-qt sauce pan, fry the onion in the olive oil until translucent.  Add the spices and toss together until fragrant.  Add the broth.
  3. Add the pre-roasted squash (1.a) and proceed with step 4.  Or…add the uncooked squash (1.b) and simmer for 20-mins or until the pieces are tender (have I told you that roasting is easier yet?).
  4. Blend the hot soup while still in the pot with a stick blender, or transfer to a food processor instead.  Add the coconut milk and blend until just smooth.
  5. Serve hot or cold.  Leftover will keep in the fridge for a week to dine on as the need for fall comfort hits you.  Cheers!

Shannon @ DirtNKids Blog
http://www.dirtnkids.wordpress.com

Happy Autumn, everyone!  It’s my favorite
time of the year.

For more hi-res photos around the property,
click on the SmugMug album.

33 thoughts on “Butternut Squash Soup, September Captured

    1. Mine too, especially for the birds. Hummer Warz on the porch is particularly uplifting. Now, if we can get the thermometer to dip below 90 degrees…

      Nice to see you here, Darla!

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  1. Great post Shannon! Your squash enjoyment was infectious, and your photos are really spectacular. I really like the silhouettes with the ibis and your children, and also some really great bird photos, espec. liked the bathing cardinal (fun) and the willet and the crab.

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    1. Surely you didn’t miss Mama Cardinal soaking in the tub! She’s my fav. Your humor is appreciated here, however corny it may be. ‘Bird is the word’ is a diddy we sing often, but here in America, Mom’s the word for the mum. I think every dish is made better with a little curry or cumin or cinnamon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely assortment of birds :-)! Do the Whistling ducks stay in your area all year? I’m surprised to see little ones in September!

    Your soup recipe sounds great for the slowcooker. And I have a butternut squash on my kitchen counter…

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    1. Slow cooker would work well for it. I’m too ‘immediate gratification’ to wait for the slow cooker. It’s a quickie if the squash is already pre-roasted (which is great in the fridge for anything salad!), then zip, zip…squash soup.

      Yes, our whistlers are year ’round residents. They are a fecund species and always seem to have babies with them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My slow cooker is oddly fast. It made the soup in 1 hour and 15 minutes. I just threw all the raw ingredients in and closed the lid. Very tasty. Thanks for the recipe :-).

        Interesting that whistlers are year round baby makers. Maybe it is more common in warmer places than in Canada.

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      2. Glad it was a success, and thanks for letting me know here! We make it with pumpkin too, but the butternut has a unique flavor. I prefer it.

        Yes, we only get about 2 months of cold here, being so near the Gulf Coast, and by that I mean 40 degrees. There have been Christmases and New Years that we’ve been in shorts and flip-flops!

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  3. Oh my gosh… how much do I love this post!! YUM. And how cool are these WP recipe cards? Every visit is a delight and when can I remember laughing so hard when reading a recipe?! I made roasted butternut & acorn squash chunks recently and I never thought to wave my knife in the air, celebrating my warrior bravery for chopping before cooking! Ha HA! Seriously thank you for a delicious recipe. This one’s going in the book to try soon. xo Hugs!

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    1. Ha! Glad you liked it; I hate peeling a raw hard, winter squash. You will not regret making this soup; my kids love a mug with apple spice muffins. Isn’t that recipe card cool?

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  4. Love growing squash, although the only one that tickles my fancy to eat is pumpkin (and sometimes zucchini). Didn’t grow any this year because of the move. Love, love, love the bird photos, too!

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    1. I never was a big squash person until I grew my own. Now, I love them all!! They are nature’s versatile fruit. Sorry that your garden took the back-burner. I know how that feels; we are still catching up from being out of the house for nearly the whole year last year. Good luck on your fall maters. 😉

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  5. Gorgeous photos! That new lens really lets you get in close. We are finally going to start a vegetable garden this Fall prompted by having to decide on a school project for our son to do. Looking forward to the squash amongst other things!

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    1. Well, if there is anyone that lit the fire for me, it was you and that keyhole garden! It will be full of kale, chard, beets, and spinach in just a couple of weeks; the pea patch and broccoli will be direct-sown soon after.

      Try the “Three Sisters” method for the kids; such a great family project. The three varieties — corn, beans, squash — are comfy buddies in a backyard garden space. Careful, there; deer and coons may be a problem.
      http://www.nativetech.org/cornhusk/threesisters.html

      Good to see you, Jocelyn. I hope to see more posts from you — I sew (tee hee) enjoy your projects.

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      1. Thanks for the idea! I’ve seen the 3 sisters before but have forgotten about them. That’ll be great. Is it the wrong time of year for corn? Of course I know TX is so warm that we can do diff. things than up north. Yes, deer will be a huge prob. for us so that will be one of the parts of our project to fig. out the best way to keep them away. We have a little bit of all those night time critters around our rural house.

        Your keyhole garden loot sounds tasty. I think we may just start with some raised beds with the lasagna method you’ve talked about so much to keep it easy.

        And I do plan on writing more, I’m just terrible at multitasking and right now I’ve been sewing up a storm to get my ornaments ready to list. I always have grand plans for blog posts and even will take pictures but then the time it takes to write one keeps me from actually doing it.

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      2. My Aggie planting guide says Sept 10 planting (for corn) in my area. Probably a little earlier for you guys since you get frost. If you missed the boat, it may not have been by much! Go ahead. Toss some kernels into the ground and see what happens.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. They are fun to watch. All I could think as I saw her sitting there, all drenched, was, “Aaaahhh. Such a relaxing soak in the tub.” I half thought to bring her some candles and a glass of wine!

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    2. Oh…and welcome back to blogging! I thought that I had been away a while then realized you practically took a summer off with me. Many of my favorite bloggers have dropped off the grid, my previous “audience” gone for good, so I guess it’s a good thing I do this for me. Thanks for coming by, Karen.

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  6. I love that there is serendipity at work in your garden! Makes gardening that much more fun 🙂 You are right about squash and its versatility. Although soup is a favourite with it I do like roasted too. So maybe a first course of soup and a second of roasted with herby, seedy crumbs and chilli? Gorgeous nature shots. So many exotic (to me) birds! Thanks for sharing this, Shannon x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Serendipity! That’s a word that I routinely use to describe my garden area. Volunteers are already “happy” where they sprouted, so no micro-managing them for me, save picking off the occasional caterpillar and picking their fruits. My kind of gardening.

      I love the recipe card thingy. Though I’m no food blog, there are a few traditional (veganized) recipes I’d love to share; makes it a cinch. You know? I’m reminded I’ve not made your cornbread stuffing in a while. Next on my butternut list! If only I had the brussels sprouts from the yard to go with it.
      http://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/2013/12/17/southern-cornbread-dressing-stuffing-gluten-free-and-vegan/

      As for bird species, we are fortunate to live on a body of water with woods and enjoy a great number of “exotic” species right from the yard. Pair that with fruit trees (like the fig) and a school at home — my dream life. Thanks for coming by, Kellie. Always good to have you here.

      PS — Butternut is great cubed into my meatless chili. Another hit with the kids!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Uncle Guac! Chili (for me) is mostly about the seasoning, lots of tomato, onion and garlic, corn meal (as a thickener) and — my fav — BEER. The beer gives it that yeast smell that makes it ‘feel’ like a chili base, and from there, any bulk you want to put in it. My kids love Butler’s soy curls (texture), three kinds of beans, a diced hard squash (butternut), carrots, and some kale. Some vegan noodles at the end gives a nice touch too. Sometimes, I’ll clean out the fridge when I make chili as you really can put anything it it!

        It’s a great fall recipe that can literally feed an army.

        PS — Emeril has a nice chili ‘mix’ that you can make from your spice rack. Oregano, thyme, chili powder, garlic powder are key. For beer, an IPA is about right for richness.

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