“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.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Vegan. Dairy-free. Gluten-free.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?).
- 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.
- 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
Happy Autumn, everyone! It’s my favorite
time of the year.
For more hi-res photos around the property,
click on the SmugMug album.