I LOVE this time of year. Most of you know we live in the beautiful state of Utah, but many of you may not know the beautiful street we get to drive every day going to and from our house. This street is probably one of the first streets to be established in our area. Along with the small historic homes, you will find the street lined with large lushes trees. When the fall season arrives, this street makes me happy. And for about a solid week you get to enjoy the changing leaves. All shades of beautiful red and orange emerge with the changes! What makes this scene even more perfect is knowing I am going home to make a yummy, warm fall meal or treat!!
About a month ago, I bought some butternut squash from my girlfriend’s family farm close to our home. I also bought some sage as well as some other yummy fall produce! What to do with butternut squash and sage?? Make butternut squash soup of coarse!
Remember the maple syrup I posted last week or so?! Well that one ingredient is what makes this soup so scrumptiously delicious!
From all the recipes I post, some of you may be thinking…if only my kids would eat these meals or treats! Well guess what…my girls are right there with y’alls kids. They probably only love what I make 50% of the time. The other 50% is spent complaining and whining over not liking my food. But guess what else…I don’t care if they don’t like it. And I don’t even care if they waste the food. I love cooking too much to allow their complaints and whines dictate what I cook. So many times they go to bed slightly hungry because they could only manage a couple of bites.
Now let me also add that my girls do not deal with many sensory issues when it comes to food. For the kids who have sever sensory issues to textures, temperatures, smells, and the like, this method of “you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit”, is not the route I would suggest. My suggestion would be to hire an occupational therapist to work with them on these sensory needs!
So, did my girls enjoy this soup? It wasn’t their favorite. But did Casey and I LOVE the soup. YES!!
I think the issue with the kids was in the unfamiliar flavors put into the soup. Sage, nutmeg, molasses. These are not familiar to the girls. Or maybe it was a texture thing. Who knows??
- - 2 medium butternut squash or 15 cups, diced 1″ cubes
- - 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- - 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- - 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- - 3 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced
- - 2 cups yellow onion, finely diced
- - 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- - 2 Tablespoons molasses
- - 2 Tablespoons maple syrup (recipe below)
- - 1 bay leaf
- - 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- - 6 cups Chicken stock (homemade or knors: 6 cups of water to 6 teaspoons of Knors chicken stock seasoning, bring to a boil in a medium pot while sautéing the onions. Turn heat to low in order to keep warm)
- - 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- - Bacon or pancetta
- - Goat cheese (or your preferred cheese)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Prepare butternut squash: cut off both ends of squash to provide a flat surface from which to cut. First cut squash in half. Place the squash on flat end. Use a sharp knife to cut away the skin. Cut deep enough to expose the deeper orange color of the squash. Repeat process on remaining squash halves. Next, scoop out seeds and sinew (just like a pumpkin). Slice and dice to get even 1″ cubes (or as close to even as possible). You should end up with about 15 cups of diced butternut squash.
- Evenly separate the squash onto two sheet pans. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over one of the pans. Drizzle the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil over the second pan. Next, sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and 1½ tablespoons of freshly minced sage over one of the pans. Do the same for the second pan. Toss to coat on each pan. If squash looks a bit dry, more olive oil until nicely coated. Remember, the key to buttering or oiling up veggies when roasted is to lock in their moisture and create nice browning!
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Pull out each pan and toss. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- During the last 15 minutes of cooking the squash, heat a heavy bottom pot (i.e. Dutch oven), over medium heat on the stove. Melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Once hot, add diced onions and one bay leaf. Sauté over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until caramelized and beginning to slightly brown. Turn off the heat, take out the bay leaf (discard), and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg over the onions. Stir to coat.
- Add the roasted squash from both of the pans to the onions. Using a spatula, scrape remaining oil and sage from the pans into the pot. Pour 2 tablespoons of molasses and 2 tablespoons of prepared maple syrup over the squash and onions. Stir to coat.
- Pour 4 of the 6 cups of chicken stock over the squash and onions. Use a blender or hand held emulsion blender to purée (an emulsion blender creates a more textured soup and a blender tends to create a smoother consistency). The soup will be thick. If using a blender, pour the blended soup back into the pot and return to the stove. If using an emulsion blender, the soup remains in the pot the entire time. Still return to the stove. You will have 2 cups remaining of the chicken stock. Pour at least 1½ cups into the pot to thin out the soup. Turn on the heat to medium-low.
- Stir in the chicken stock and allow to heat for 10 minutes. If the soup seems to be thicker than you’d prefer, add the remaining ½ cup of chicken stock.
- When you’ve reached your desired consistency add the 2 tablespoons of cream. Stir to combine.
- This makes a large amount which means freezing for later use! Allow the soup to cool for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour, before freezing. I like to freeze mine in quart size Mason jars.
- While soup is cooling down, cook strips of bacon or pancetta in a skillet.
- When serving, top with crumbled bacon or pancetta and a sprinkle of goat cheese.