Oh how I love the dishes
that are indicative of the fall & winter months ..
Soups and stews .. casseroles .. roasts in the oven .. something simmering on the stove
Those were the things I remember eating .. 50 lifetimes ago .. growing up on our family farm
Funny looking back .. the eye of an adult .. the filter of a kid .. I'm sure my Mom made other things .. of course, she did .. but the meals I looked forward to were those best classified as comfort food
So as the days took on the chill of fall .. it sure was nice to notice print-outs of soup & stew recipes .. appearing throughout the house
Sometimes I guess to myself which he'll make first ..
After an afternoon scouting pumpkins at our local pumpkin patch .. along with a couple of butternut squash that were begging to be used ..
I came home to a dinner table featuring butternut squash soup. Not only beautiful to look at .. but absolutely delicious.
Although butternut squash is great in everything from pasta .. pies .. even roasted on its own with olive oil, salt & pepper .. it seems to really shine in the spotlight of a soup
No wonder it's one of fall's best .. not to mention .. classic recipes ..
But .. I tell you what .. just because this soup is a classic, it doesn't mean there aren't many variations when it comes to choosing a recipe .. some add apples .. others brown sugar .. some are all about the garlic.
How do you choose?
True to form .. The Chef picked one that was simple .. figuring he could build from there
A beautiful balance of the sweet and savory .. finished off by a surprising ingredient .. white wine. It seemed to elevate the soup's flavor .. with the other ingredients leaving all the markings of the classic.
ps: .. Note: the recipe below is from Food and Wine, but the big difference that happened at our house was to just buy roasted pumpkin seeds and get past that step. The Chef said taking the easy way around certain things gives him more time to improvise and take care of other things .. I later learned that he left out the sugared pumpkin seeds .. this time, at least.
~ Adapted from Food and Wine (October 2013) .. here
Squash Soup with Pepitas
- 3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds pepitas
- 6 Tbsp plus 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- Kosher salt
- 1 large onion halved and thinly sliced
- One 3 pound butternut squash—peeled seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- Pumpkin seed oil for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the pumpkin seeds in a pie plate. In another pie plate, toss the remaining 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds with the 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, the sugar and a pinch of salt. Bake the pumpkin seeds for 12 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned and crisp; let cool completely.
- Transfer the plain roasted pumpkin seeds to a food processor.
- Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and pulse until the seeds are ground to a paste. Season with salt.
- In a saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and just starting to brown, 8 minutes. Add the squash and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the squash just begins to soften, 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, 4 minutes. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the squash is very tender, 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender.
- Return it to the saucepan, rewarm and season with salt. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a spoonful of the pumpkin seed paste, the sugared pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil.