“Take away this pudding, it has no theme!” is attributed to Winston Churchill, who desired his desserts be expressive.
My theme today blends the hope of spring and good health, with the reality of a cold, fall-like day. The wind of dark morning, brightening a bit this afternoon, still blusters and calls for substantial taste and fortifying nurture.
The weather changes daily from winter to spring, winter to summer, then back to winter, temperatures fluctuating wildly, to say nothing of wardrobes. I start the day in flip-flops and end it in boots–I wake up today on May 11th craving Butternut Squash Soup!
So it is! I research a googled list of recipes, choose what appeals to me from each one, complete my project before 8:30, and now a pot of soul satisfying goodness simmers on my stove.
Cheryl’s Recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
4 – 6 cups Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed (2 medium butternut squash)
1 large sweet Onion
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and sliced in thick chunks
1 -2 cups Vegetable Broth
1 cup Evaporated Milk (see variations below)
Touch of Honey — Optional
Touch of Cayenne — Optional
Add or substitute any or all of the following, to taste.
1 medium Granny Smith Apple
1/2 cup diced Carrots
1/2 inch piece fresh Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
Season with Dried, toasted Coriander, to taste
Simmer with a couple fresh Sage Leaves
May substitute Almond Milk or Coconut Milk for the Evaporated Milk
In large mixing bowl, combine squash cubes, thick onion sections, garlic chunks, sea salt and ground pepper.
Add olive oil to coat everything well. Mix thoroughly.
Spread in roasting pan (I always cover pan with tin foil for easy clean up later.)
Roast in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Take out of oven to stir and turn over the vegetables. If there are burning tips on any onions, tuck them under some squash chunks!
Return to 375 degree oven and roast another 30 – 35 minutes.
Spoon 1/2 of the roasted vegetables into blender.
Pour in vegetable broth to almost cover.
Season with a little bit of cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg.
Remove the little round part of your blender lid, to allow for the steam.
Hold a towel or paper towel over the hole.
Blend (I use the Puree setting.)
Pour into soup pot and repeat with the other half of the vegetables, adding broth and seasonings in the same manner.
Puree and add to soup pot.
Turn heat on low.
Add milk of your choice (evaporated, half and half, almond, coconut), stir to blend.
I like to add a bit of honey and a touch of ground cayenne pepper at this point (be gentle with the cayenne, a little goes a very long way.)
Simmer for 20 minutes and serve!
Or refrigerate, simmer and serve later.
Fall comfort this windy spring day.
TIP: Butternut Squash is a Power Food — Rich in potassium, vitamin B6, folate, with high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Its high antioxidant content has anti-inflammatory effects too! So many health benefits–for proper functioning of your nervous and immune systems, protection against heart disease (high fiber content is very heart friendly), as a deterrent against breast cancer, and to possibly reduce risk of rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. I haven’t even mentioned everything — there’s more, look it up!
I leave you with a treat for your mind as well:
by Matsuo Basho (c. 1680)
A hill without a name
Veiled in morning mist.
The beginning of autumn:
Sea and emerald paddy
Both the same green.
The winds of autumn
Blow: yet still green
The chestnut husks.
A flash of lightning:
Into the gloom
Goes the heron’s cry.