Monday, December 17, 2012

Butternut Squash--2 ways

Today, my friend Nina and I were discussing how much we love Butternut squash. She was commenting on a dish she planned on making this evening for dinner and I was telling her about my favorite fall soup recipe. She excitedly informed me that she now gets the squash pre-cut which saves her because she has a fear of cutting the squash.  Turns out she has a fear of using big knives and since Butternut squash is a large vegetable and has a pretty tough exterior, the best - and probably only - way to cut into it is with a big 8 inch chef knife.  The irony is that Nina happens to run a very successful recipe website called and is constantly trying new recipes to post to her fans.  So in her honor I decided to post my soup recipe and try her vegi/quinoa recipe.  I am hoping this will inspire her to cut her own Butternut Squash, especially since you can get a 3 lb. squash at Trader Joes for $1.63 and I cannot even imagine how many $3 bags of cut squash you would need to make this fall soup (have you seen the bags? They are tiny!)

     This recipe has become a family and friend favorite. I  found it one Thanksgiving on and used it for my annual NYC Thanksgiving meal. Even though we moved to LA and our Fall and Winter seasons are not that cold, we still love this soup during the holiday season.  I paired the soup this evening with a cheese and kale quesadilla, the quesadilla was buttery and crispy and turned out to be a wonderful addition for dipping into the soup.

Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger:
Serving 6

2 Butternut Squash (about 4 lbs. total)
2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Cups thinly sliced onion
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 Cups chicken or vegetable broth Or half broth and half water

Preheat oven to 375, cut squash in half and discard of seeds. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet for 50 minutes until it's soft.  Let cool so it is comfortable to the touch and discard of peel. Cut squash into pieces.  Heat oil over medium/low heat, add onions, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover and cook for 15 minutes till onions are tender. Add squash and broth bring to a boil, then let simmer for at least an hour. Take out cinnamon stick and Puree.

I love using the same ingredients for two back-to-back dinners. Since I am already peeling and chopping, I tend to take some of my ingredients and put them aside for the next night and then half of my dinner is already done. I wanted to try the recipe Nina was talking about so I took some of the cooked butternut squash, chopped onions and ginger, put it in a tupperware and tucked it in the fridge to be used the next day for my Vegi/quinoa dinner.

  Cooked butternut squash, chopped onion and ginger all ready for my vegi quinoa dinner.

Vegetable quinoa with Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Garbanzo beans.

Here is the recipe Nina sent me. I tweaked the recipe a bit. I added the butternut squash and used fresh ginger instead of powder. I also skipped the coconut milk -- I would suggest using it because my dish was too thick for my liking.

Sorry there is no picture of the finished dish. I was so hungry that I ate my dinner before I could get my camera out of my purse.