Remember when I told you all about the great summer squash takeover 2014? Well, Round 2 is here in the form of butternut squash. I’ve never planted butternut, so I knew nothing about it’s crazy growing pattern. I planted a few seeds and two months later, a single plant appeared and took over the entire front yard looking like a giant green spider, vines going off in all directions. They were wrapped around all the other plants, growing into the neighbors’ yards, and stretching out into the street. Insanity.
I’ve already harvested about 20, keeping a few for us and offering the rest out to random people walking their dogs and/or kids in front of the house at night. Most turn up their noses; “No thanks, I don’t really like squash.” I go on trying to convince them that butternut is kind of sweet, like a sweet potato, and it doesn’t have the texture of zucchini, and you can mix it with potato and make delicious soups, and please don’t be intimated by it’s shape and hard shell, and please, please take at least one because I have then coming out my ears people!! Aaaah!
Actually, there were a few takers and they all told me what their plans were for using it. I heard recipes for risotto, casseroles, curries, and a few who knew that this particular squash can be stored for months, so they planned on saving it for Thanksgiving.
This squash pusher only has one recipe, (the original is from an issue of Cooking Light Magazine), and I’ve been making it for several years now. It’s the first time I’ve had my very own homegrown squash to use though, and man, does it taste better than ever.
I put my own spin on the CL recipe, subbing onions for leeks, (I never think about buying those things), veggie broth for chicken, I threw in garlic just because every soup needs it, and I added almond milk instead of half-and-half because I’ve been trying to cut out dairy when I can, (I’m such a sucker for cheese though). And finally, the last couple of times I’ve topped it off with coconut bacon. Have you all had this stuff? It’s ahhh-mazing and a great substitute for newbie vegetarians like me who miss the crunchy/smokiness of bacon every once in a while. Take a look at the recipe here.
I’ve found the best way to cut up a butternut squash is to peel the skin with a vegetable peeler first, and starting from the narrow end, slice off 1″ pieces until you get to the base. Cut that part in half from stem to base, and remove the seeds with a spoon.
Creamy Butternut Squash and Potato Soup Recipe (adapted from Cooking Light’s, “Golden Winter Soup”)
2 tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups russet potato, cubed
4 cups butternut squash, cubed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Coconut Bacon (or regular bacon)
Melt butter on medium-high heat in a dutch oven (or stockpot) and sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic cloves and sauté for one minute more. Add the squash and potato, sprinkle with the salt and pepper and stir, cooking for 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes and squash are tender. Remove from heat and take soup out in batches and puree with a food processor, or leave it in the dutch oven and puree with a handheld blender. Stir in almond milk. Ladle soup into bowls and top with scallions and bacon. Enjoy!
Do you have any good butternut squash recipes to share? Anybody planting fall/winter vegetables? I just planted some radishes and beets for the first time. Crossing my fingers that I get at least one vegetable from this planting.