The produce section of the grocery store is overflowing this fall with an oddly shaped, beige colored squash. Many people have no idea what to do with butternut squash so they pass it by. Yes, it does look intimidating but go ahead and bring one home.
The dark orange flesh inside of a butternut squash boosts immunity and protects the eyes. It is also rich in fiber and is a good source of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure.
What to do with Butternut Squash:
A popular way to enjoy butternut squash is to half it lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Brush with olive oil. Then roast for 50 to 60 minutes in a 400 - degree oven.
It is also delicious when cut into chunks and roasted along with vegetables such as onions, zucchini and peppers.
Turning butternut squash into soup is another delicious idea.
Basic Butternut Squash Soup
The butternut squash soup shown above is the result of playing in the kitchen for years and tweaking the recipe each time. The “must have” ingredients are: butternut squash, broth of any kind (vegetable broth is ideal) and olive oil.
The “add-ins” are up to you. In this recipe, an apple adds a hint of sweet flavor and a swirl of coconut milk gives extra creaminess.
One medium or large butternut squash, cut into quarters, with seeds removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
One medium sweet apple, peeled and cut into large chunks
One small onion, cut into quarters
3 to 4 cups of vegetable broth
One clove of minced garlic (or ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
½ to 1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt (more or less as needed)
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place butternut squash onto a baking sheet or pan.
Toss the apple chunks and onion with olive oil and garlic then place onto a separate baking sheet or pan.
Put butternut squash and apple/onion mixture into pre-heated oven.
Roast until soft. The squash will take at least 45 minutes, but the apples and onions will be ready in around 30 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, remove squash from the outer skin using a butter knife or a spoon.
Place squash and apple/onion mixture into blender.
Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth, along with the pepper and salt.
Process until smooth, stopping blender to add additional broth as needed .
Pour into pot and warm up the soup over low heat just prior to serving.
Swirl one or two tablespoons of coconut milk into the top of each bowl of soup.
Written by Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN
Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program