We stopped at a farmer’s market on our recent trip to Upstate New York. What fun it was to walk up and down the isles and see what was for sale that we don’t have in Louisiana. I loaded up the car with produce to bring back to Louisiana since this was a road trip. One of my bounty prizes was butternut squash. Much less expensive than in Louisiana.
I don’t cook butternut squash very often. But at $1.00 a squash how can you pass it up? And now what shall I to cook? I found a recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup that turned out to be both easy and delicious. The skin and inside flesh of butternut squash are very tough making it a challenge to cut up. This recipe makes that step easy.
Butternut squash is a winter squash that probably originated in Central America. Botanically It belongs to the Cucurbinaceae family, the same as pumpkins. Since the squash is grown in South America, it is available for purchase all year here in grocery stores.
Butternut squash has a tough skin and the inside is a bright orange flesh. It is one of the most nutritious winter squashes. Butternut squash is very high in beta carotene (the precursor for Vitamin A) and also contains generous amounts of potassium and Vitamin C, as well as folate and other B vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc, copper, calcium and phosphorus. The squash has plenty of antioxidants for protective value. The vitamin A content is important for maintaining the integrity of skin and is an essential vitamin for healthy eyesight.
Making the Soup
The trick to making this soup recipe is to roast the squash in their skins, then scoop out the inside flesh after baking rather than peeling and cutting up the squash first. Simple!. To bake the squash, I removed the seeds and rubbed the both the inside outside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Then I roasted the squash in a 425 degree oven until the inside flesh was soft and could easily be poked with a fork or knife. Should you roast the squash flesh side down or up? I tried both ways and decided that roasting the squash flesh side down perhaps kept the flesh from drying out and burning. From a practical point, the squash is much easier to handle flesh side down.
To finish the soup, I pureed the pulp in a food processor with sauteed onions, a dash of white pepper and chicken broth. Additional salt is not really needed here if the squash was seasoned prior to baking in the oven. Reheat and let cook on low temperature for 15 minutes or more to blend the flavors of the squash and broth. Stir occasionally.
Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Easy Roasted Butternut Squash
- 1 large butternut squash (4-1/2 lb) or 2 medium squash (about 5 cups pureed roasted squash)
- 3 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil, divided
- black pepper
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/8 tsp or dash of white pepper
Method and Steps
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
- Rub 2 Tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil over insides and outsides of squash. Sprinkle insides of squash with salt and pepper.
- Place squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Roast in oven until squash is tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and set baking sheet on wire rack or counter until squash is cool enough to be handled.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 Tbsp of vegetable or olive oil in small skillet. Add chopped onion and saute over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
- Scoop out the pulp of the roasted squash and add to food processor bowl. Add the sauteed onion. Process with pulse action until squash is pureed. (May need to process squash in several batches.)
- Pour pureed squash and onion into a large pot. Add the chicken broth and white pepper. Heat to bubbling, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or more to blend the flavors.