autumn is here! yay!
those cool days and nights, the crimson, orange and gold leaves falling to the ground… so many ooohs and ahhs. and the sunlight that kisses everything and makes it look so darn gorgeous… the apple orchards, pumpkin fields, corn fields (mazes!), farms, even the abandoned, dilapidated homes (dilapidated – one of my favorite words i learned in elementary school).
such a gorgeous time of year in this part of the Midwest.
and i love the pumpkin breads, muffins and squash soups and stews that start flooding my vision on my news feed. and those roasted root vegetables?!! … mmm love them.
the sun sets earlier and the run nights are shorter. requires more diligence on my part, when it comes to wearing a reflective vest. it’s totally worth it though, because no heat and humidity makes me a happy curly haired runner girl.
and then there are the half and full marathons that start popping up on my social news feed. but alas, that marathon only a few weeks ago has forced me into a recovery mode to ward off overuse injuries.
i think a little post marathon withdrawal has set in.
i need another race locked in.
so i made a decision. i decided to switch things up a little and run a half marathon in the spring, the Owens Corning Half Marathon, which means winter training. yikes. i need to be ready for treadmill running. and i need to be ok with not being able to run the long miles on the weekend, when that snowy, icy weather hits.
so in celebration of autumn and registering for a half marathon, i whipped up a batch of butternut squash soup.
something about roasting a squash and removing the seeds, seemed tedious. and my husband is super picky about texture and “foreign bodies” in his food.
a gazillion years ago i made him a pumpkin pie from scratch. it was a little stringy. it tasted fantastic, but watching him pick the strings out of his pie kind of ruined it for me. looked like he was dissecting a cadaver, but with a fork and the body a slice of pumpkin pie.
i went back to canned pumpkin. it’s 100% pumpkin anyway, minus the work.
regardless, i gave this Butternut Squash Soup recipe a try, with slight modifications.
and the whole removing the seeds and roasting a butternut squash? it was super easy.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 4 lbs whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), top and bottom removed and halved lengthwise with seeds removed (I used an icecream scoop to remove seeds.)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 heaping tsp dried sage
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper, more to taste
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (We used the butternut squash seeds. Recipe below.)
Preheat oven to 425. Arrange rack in the middle of oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place squash cut side up on baking sheet. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and brush tops of squash. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour until knife tender.
While the squash is roasting, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the apple, onion and sage. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
When the squash is roasted, remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the apples and onions. Discard skins.
Add broth, water and measured salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in cream.
Using an immersion blender puree soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with pumpkin seeds or roasted butternut squash seeds (recipe below).
Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds
Preheat oven to 275. Rinse butternut squash seeds and remove as much of the strings and bits of squash as possible. Allow seeds to drain and pat dry. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Roast on a tray, lined with aluminum foil, for 15 minutes until seeds pop. Allow to cool.
and my husband’s review? he loved it. spoon in hand, “This is delicious.”
the butternut squash was purchased at a local orchard, Bennett’s Orchard.
and those amazing carved squashes of my husband and me? by artist, pumpkin carver, Les Lukacs.