Carrie Fehr

Kitchen Garden Food and Fitness

Tag: Butternut squash

Butternut Squash Soup

butternut-squash-soup-jpgOn stormy weather nights when I crave something warm and comforting, there’s nothing like a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup to assuage the winter chill. This soup is easy to prepare and with a handful of simple ingredients, it will turn into something creamy and soothing. A sprinkling of pomegranate seeds adds a little burst of color and crunch. Soup On!

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

6 cups vegetable stock or water

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 pound sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 cups vegetable stock or water

3/4 cup coconut milk

Season with salt and white pepper

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat, add the onions, and sauté about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook until the onion is very soft, about 10 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock or water to the onions and bring to a boil. Add the butternut squash and sweet potato, return to a boil then, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the squash and sweet potato is soft.

Pour the soup into a blender and purée until smooth. Add the coconut milk. Return the blended butternut squash and coconut mixture to the saucepan, then, bring it to a simmer. Remove from heat. Taste and season with salt and white pepper.

Butternut Squash Muffins

Photo Butternut Squash MuffinWhen the first brisk days of autumn come calling, I head to my kitchen with thoughts of squash and spice. Butternut squash muffins are a great way to bring out the best of the season.

The bright orange flesh of butternut squash, with its thin rind, makes it easy to peel, plus it’s rich in fiber and loaded with nutrients that can help make your skin shimmer and hair shine.

Butternut squash muffins are full of fall flavor and have an irresistible soft moist crumb with a sprinkling of a pumpkin seed topping that add a nice crunch.  These cake-like delights are habit-forming, so be forewarned!  Click here for the recipe.

Winter Squash and Potato Gratin

Layers of creamy potatoes and sweet winter squash, swimming in béchamel sauce, spiked with Gruyere cheese and toasted breadcrumbs, baked until golden brown– is the ultimate in comfort food.

There is something special about breaking into a bubbling hot gratin that will not only steal the show at the dinner table, but will instantly become a family favorite.  It’s rich and decadent enough to serve as a main dish with a side of mixed greens, and if there is any leftover the following morning, it is absolutely divine underneath a poached egg for breakfast.

Lunga Di Napoli, An Italian Winter Squash

The mildly nutty flavor of winter squash is a lovely compliment to the potatoes in this dish.  I used Lunga Di Napoli, an Italian heirloom variety that I discovered at my local farmers’ market.  Lunga Di Napoli means, ‘Long of Naples.’ It’s in the same family as butternut squash, and has dark green skin with grey stripes that reminds me of a zucchini, but much bigger.  It has beautiful deep orange flesh that is melt-in-your-mouth sweet and delicious.  Different types of winter squash such as delicata, acorn, or butternut would also be nice.

Winter squash is a gold nugget of health benefits which makes eating them a nutritious choice, but the best part of all — is in the taste.  Read on for the Winter Squash and Potato Gratin recipe.

Winter Squash and Potato Gratin

Ingredients:

6 medium potatoes such as Yukon Gold, peeled

1 winter squash such as butternut (2 pounds), peeled

2 cups béchamel or cream (see recipe below for béchamel )

3 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

½ cup toasted breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter a ceramic baking dish.

Directions:

Slice winter squash and potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.  Layer potato slices in the bottom of the prepared ceramic dish. Cover with a layer of butternut squash slices and alternate with a layer of potato slices until the dish is full.  Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and freshly ground pepper.

Pour béchamel, or cream if using, over the top and then sprinkle with Gruyere cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven.  Bake about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Remove aluminum foil and cover the top with toasted breadcrumbs and sprinkle a handful of Gruyere cheese over the top.  Bake 10 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let it sit about 10 minutes before serving.

Béchamel

2 cups milk infused with:  ¼ onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 bay leaf, and 1 sprig of fresh thyme

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper

For the infused-milk: In a small saucepan combine milk, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, and heat until warm.  Remove from heat and let it steep for 15 minutes.  Remove onion, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Slowly add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Increase the heat to medium-high and slowly whisk in the infused milk, whisking constantly until thickened.  It will coat the back of a spoon.  Season with salt and pepper.

Butternut Squash Muffins

When the first brisk, cool days of autumn come calling, I head to the kitchen with thoughts of squash and spice. Butternut Squash Muffins are a great way to bring out the best of the season.

The bright orange flesh of butternut squash, with its thin rind, makes it easy to peel, plus it’s filled with fiber and nutrients that will make your hair shine and skin glow.

Butternut Squash Muffins are full of fall flavor, and have an irresistible soft moist crumb, with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds that adds a nice crunch.  These cake-like delights are habit-forming, so be forewarned!  Click here for the recipe.