Can you believe that the first time a full butternut squash entered my kitchen was only a couple of months ago? (I say "full", because they've been here in pieces before - most commonly in the filling of store bought ravioli.) I had no idea how easy it is to roast a butternut squash. But I've learned! It's one of the many things California has taught me, I guess you could say.
Today's featured recipe is Aztec Squash Soup, which I made last night (we'll be enjoying the leftovers tonight). Because the squash takes some time to roast, I did that part the night before, storing the squash in the fridge until it's use last night. I hope you like the soup as much as we do!
Aztec Squash Soup
makes a big pot of soup
1 (1-1.5 pound) butternut squash
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 celery stalks, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed well
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cilantro, chopped
avocado (optional, but recommended!)
Preheat oven to 400F. Halve the butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Rub olive oil on the cut sides. Place the squash halves, cut side down, on the baking dish (be sure to use a dish, not a baking sheet - I made this mistake the first time I roasted a squash and ended up with squash juice all over the oven). Roast squash until tender, 60-75 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, scoop squash out into a medium bowl.
Heat olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauteing until golden (about 10 minutes). Mix in celery and 1 cup broth. Cover and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, 5 cups broth, and cumin. Cover and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors.
Using an immersion blender, puree squash soup until smooth (if you don't have an immersion blender, you can do this in batches in an upright blender). In pot, thin soup to desired consistency with additional vegetable broth. Mix in black beans, corn, red pepper, and cilantro. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.