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Balanced Body COREterly

Winter 2015

Recipe Box

Butternut Squash Soup

by Beth Merrill-Belval

Butternut squash is plentiful this time of year, and super versatile. It’s also high in vitamins A and C, and potassium. Use it in macaroni and cheese, risotto, or roast and stuff it! But one of my favorite ways to prepare it is as soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Olive oil to coat the pan
  • 2 Shallots, diced
  • 1 Medium butternut squash, cubed and peeled*
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 10 Cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 Cup buttermilk
  • Juice of half a lemon (or ½ cp dry white wine)
  • Chives, chopped
  • Sour cream or crème fraiche
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a large stock pot, heat butter and olive oil. Add shallots and cook until fragrant. About 3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and Italian seasoning. Cook for about five minutes or so, until the squash is slightly tender, stirring frequently. Add the broth and water, as desired or required, depending on how much squash you have; the squash should be covered with plenty of liquid. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add the wine, if using. Cover and cook until the squash is completely tender. You can let it sit like that for a while to get the flavors to combine.
  2. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Or use a blender, in batches.
  3. Right before serving, slowly add the buttermilk and lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with a sprinkling of chives and a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche, if desired.
  4. Wine recommendation — Something with a good level of acidity would go well, like a sauvignon blanc. An oaky chardonnay would also serve you well, as would a pinot gris.
  5. Make it vegan! Eliminate the butter and buttermilk. Use some cashew cheese and/or add in some nutritional yeast.

*Butternut squash is rather a pain in the neck to peel. There are two ways of doing this. Option 1: With a very sharp kitchen knife, cut the base of the squash, so you have a stable surface. Using a serrated peeler remove the skin. Cut either lengthwise or through the neck. When you reach the large part of the squash, remove the seeds with a spoon. Option 2: With a large, very sharp kitchen knife, cut the base of the squash, then the neck. Halve each and then cut lengthwise. Cut into large sections. Using the knife, carefully peel. I’ve used a paring knife on the smaller sections. Some stores, like Trader Joe’s, stock cubed butternut squash.

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