The weather is getting colder, and the leaves are changing color; fall is upon us. It’s time to pull out your sweaters and scarves and cozy up under a blanket. It’s time to pick apples, carve pumpkins and eat one of my favorite comfort foods—winter squash.
Here at Promega our culinary team tends a garden onsite, filling our menus and plates with amazingly fresh and local produce. Our constantly changing breakfast and lunch menus are just as good of an indicator of the season as the calendar. This time of year dishes with tomatoes, beans and eggplant are disappearing and are being replaced winter squash, potatoes and root veggie dishes. Winter Squash Soup is starting to show up on the menu and Nate Herndon, our head chef, has been kind enough to share one of his favorite recipes with us.
Winter squash is on the American Institute for Cancer Research’s list of foods that fight cancer. Squash (including pumpkins) are a great source of Vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber, so they make you feel full. They are also rich in carotenoids which act as antioxidants in the body. You can make your taste buds and body happy with this recipe.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
For the roasted squash:
3-4 squash-approximately 6 pounds total
1 stick unsalted butter-diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh sage
¼ Cup canola oil
3 cloves garlic-minced
Fresh ground black pepper
Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Score the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Place on baking sheet, flesh side up. place garlic, butter, fresh herbs on top of squash halves and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle oil over squash and place in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes or until tender. Scoop flesh from skins and set aside.
For the Soup:
2 Tbsp. canola oil
6 Cups vegetable stock
2 tsp. fresh nutmeg
½ Cups honey
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 Cup heavy cream
Heat oil in large sauce pot over medium heat, add onion and sauté for 5–7 minutes until translucent. Add all other ingredients including reserved squash and except for the cream. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add cream and simmer 20 minutes longer. Puree soup and strain if desired.
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