Roasted Butternut Squash with a Gypsy Twist
“Thanksgiving Thursday” is an American gourmand’s heaven: Roasted turkey, cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes lathered in marshmallows, macaroni and cheese, tart cranberry sauce, and pecan pie!
But what about the “Wednesday Night Before” when everyone is making the often stressful airplane, car, or train trek home? Or how about the “Saturday After” when the chefs are pooped and the crew is cuddled up by the fire watching football? I recommend my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with a little Gypsy Twist! It’s quick, easy and can sit bubbling away on the stovetop perfuming the house with that last vestige of autumn before Old Man Winter and Christmas steal the show!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with a little Gypsy Twist
2 large Butternut squash
3-6 apples (Granny Smith or hearty red variety)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 leek (cut, trimmed, white and green parts)
2 bay leaves
2 Whole peeled Idaho potatoes
40oz Organic low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
Olive oil or coconut oil
Cinnamon, Herbes de Provence, Kosher Salt & Ground Pepper
1 cup Pumpkin seeds
2 cups Arugula
Loaf of cranberry or olive bread
Wash the Butternut squash well, split in two, and clean out the seeds and muck. Dress the four halves with olive oil, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Wash, split in half, and core the apples. Dress with cinnamon and brown sugar. Place butternut squash and apples on a tin foil-covered baking sheet. Roast for one hour at 425 degrees.
In a large soup pot sauté onions, celery, leek, Herbes de Provence, bay leaves, and salt and pepper in either olive oil or a knob of coconut oil until vegetables are translucent. The coconut oil adds a nice twist! Pour in 32 oz of your liquid stock and the two potatoes and allow to simmer until the potatoes are soft. Add remaining stock.
Remove baking sheet from oven and allow to cool. Scoop out the flesh from the butternut squash and the apples and fold into the soup. Stir and then transfer into Vitamix or blender of your choice. Blend until rich and smooth. Transfer back into pot.
A Gypsy Twist
My version of Butternut Squash soup is not only ridiculously easy to make, but a surprising crowd pleaser. To give the soup that “je ne sais quoi” punch, I toast pumpkin seeds, whip up a batch of quick and yummy croutons, and garnish with arugula!
Toast one cup of pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Careful, as I have been known to torch a tray or two before I stand at attention. Choose an interesting bread like an olive rosemary or cranberry pecan. Dice bread into bite-size chunks. Dress generously with olive oil, Herbes de Provence and salt & pepper. Place on a baking sheet in the oven at 450 degrees for ten minutes! Keep an eye on them! Garnish each bowl of soup with toasted pumpkin seeds, a handful of arugula, and lots of homemade croutons! You can even finish off with a few ribbons of Parmesan!
Over this Thanksgiving holiday, I hope we will all have the courage and self-awareness to practice grace and count our blessings!
Live in Hope,