Oh, how I love the dishes that say fall and winter
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Soups and stews, casseroles, roasts in the oven, and something simmering on the stove. Those were the things I remember eating, fifty lifetimes ago, growing up on our family farm
Funny looking back with the eye of an adult and 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 take on the chill of fall, it sure is nice to notice print-outs of soup and stew recipes appearing throughout the house
Sometimes I guess to myself which he'll make first
After an afternoon scouting pumpkin 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 is it beautiful to look at, but it's absolutely delicious.
Butternut squash is great in everything from pasta, pies, even roasted on its own with olive oil, salt, and pepper. But it shines in the spotlight of a soup
No wonder it's one of fall's best and classic recipes
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, my husband picked one that was simple; knowing he could build from there
A beautiful balance of the sweet and savory, finished 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.
~ Adapted from Food and Wine (October 2013)
Squash Soup with Pepitas
- ¾ cup pumpkin seeds, divided
- 6 Tbsp + ½ tsp olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- kosher salt
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced thin
- 1 (3 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- pumpkin seed oil, for drizzling (optional)
Toast Pumpkin Seeds
- Preheat the oven to 375° F
- Spread ½ cup of the pumpkin seeds on baking sheet
- On another baking sheet, toss the remaining ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds with the ½ tsp of olive oil, the sugar and a pinch of salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned and crisp; let cool completely.
- Transfer the plain roasted pumpkin seeds to a food processor.
- Add ¼ cup of the olive oil and pulse until the seeds are ground to a paste. Season with a pinch of salt.
- In a saucepan, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, 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.