Cooking with SquashAutumn and Winter are a fantastic time of year to enjoy the bountiful squash harvest. When you stop at your local market you will find an amazing variety of squash, from hard-skinned to soft and much more. Here are a few great ideas for enjoying squash.
Curried Butternut Squash and Apple SoupI like this soup made with butternut squash you can substitute other squash, like acorn or yellow zucchini to make an equally delicious soup.
3 tbsp butter
One large onion, chopped, about 2 cups
5 tsp curry powder
6 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped, about 3 lbs
2 tart apples, peeled, cored and chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 cup apple cider
Pepper to taste
In a large pot melt butter; add onion and sauté until tender and translucent. Add the curry powder to the onions and stir thoroughly. Put the squash, apples, stock and salt into the pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer until squash and apples are tender, approximately 25 minutes. Remove 2 cups of liquid, set aside and reserve for later. Blend the remaining soup, in a blender, until smooth and return to the pot. Add the cider and stir. Gradually add the reserved liquid to the soup; the soup should still be thick, but not overly thick. You may not need to add all of the reserved liquid to reach the desired consistency.
If needed, reheat the soup before serving. Liberally grind pepper over the soup before serving. This soup is especially good served with rustic bread or some homemade simple buttermilk biscuits.
Baked Mini PumpkinsPumpkins are especially plentiful during the fall since it is the season for jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkin pie. If you are looking for new and creative ways to enjoy pumpkin this season, give this fun recipe a try.
You will need:
One mini pumpkin per person
Start by cutting the top out of your mini pumpkin, as if you were going to carve a jack-o-lantern. Remove the top, and set aside saving for later, proceed to scrape out the seeds and insides of the pumpkin, leaving the firm flesh of the sidewalls intact.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your mini pumpkins on an ungreased baking sheet. Now, cut a pat of butter off of you cube, you want no more than 1/2 tablespoon sized pats. Place one pat of butter in the bottom of each mini pumpkin. Next place one tablespoon of brown sugar in the bottom of each mini pumpkin. Finish by placing the top of each mini pumpkin back on and put the bacon sheet in the oven.
Bake your mini pumpkins for approximately 30 minutes, or until the mini pumpkins are soft. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Enjoy warm with a hearty fall soup or other seasonal dinner dish. To eat your mini pumpkin, remove the top and using a aspen, gently scrape the soft flesh from the skin of the mini pumpkin and mix with the melted brown sugar and butter at the bottom of the pumpkin.
You can also try this recipe with acorn squash. Simply cut each acorn squash in half, use a spoon to carve out the seeds, living a bowl in the center of each half. Place the halves skin-side down on a baking sheet. Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of each half and bake.
Simple Summer Squash with Butter and PepperYellow Crook-neck squash are more readily available during the summer, and this is a fantastically simple way to enjoy these squash.
You will need:
1-2 small yellow crook-neck or summer squash
Salt and pepper
Cut the ends off of each squash and discard. Then chop the squash into approximately one-inch squares. Place the squash into a saucepan and cover completely with water. Cook over medium-high heat until water is boiled away and the squares of squash are soft and have lost their shape. Put one to two tablespoons of butter into the squash and stir until melted, also check to make sure that the squash is fairly smooth, with only a few lumps. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Most boiled vegetable recipes aren't the best, however this recipe makes a delicious side for any dinner. In addition, the butter, salt and pepper bring out the delicate flavor of the squash.