Last summer I tried growing butternut squash, a variety of Cucurbita moschata, for the first time. With our local climate influenced by the cool winds from Lake Superior I knew this might not work very well. I had already tried growing a C. moschata variety called “Black Futsu” a few times before and just couldn’t get any mature fruit. Tromboncini is another C. moschata I grow for summer squash and until this past summer it never matured fruit. I did know that some people in the area were successfully growing Waltham butternut so I decided to give them a try.
When the ground was warm enough I planted a row 20 feet of long with a hybrid butternut variety that was supposed to mature in 95 days. At first the plants were slower than my usual Hubbard varieties but by July they caught up and not long after began producing flowers and then many fruit. When the harvest was in I had 36 mature squash fruits and several smaller green ones. Now it was time to try these in recipes.
I like squash soups and make them often. Some of my squash soups are combinations of garlic with Asiago and Parmesan cheeses, others are made with sage and garlic. This one is made with coconut oil and sage and has no cheese. It is a very thick and hearty soup with a sweet and spicy flavor that can be eaten by itself or better with a big slice of toasted homemade bread.
3 pounds cooked butternut squash
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons or coconut oil
One large fresh apple, cored, peeled, and diced (I used 1 cup dried apple slices since no fresh ones were available and added 1/2 cup tart crab apple sauce)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable broth (You can use purchased broth or make your own- see below)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
Vegetable broth ingredients
1 whole onion, with skins and coarsely chopped. Remove only the dirty or damaged skin as the skins give the broth a nice color.
1 garlic bulb, also with skins on removing only the dirty or damaged outer wrappers. Cut the bulb in half.
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup of chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon savory
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chardonnay wine
6 cups of water
Simmer covered over low heat (I use a heavy bottomed pot with a flame tamer) for about 90 minutes hour, strain out vegetable ingredients through a mesh strainer.
Cut the butternut squash lengthwise, remove the seeds, and put in a roasting pan. Drizzle the cut sides with olive oil and rub in salt and pepper. Cook covered in oven at 425° for about 45 minutes or until tender. When done scoop out the cooked squash meat from the shell.
While the squash is in the oven cooking begin preparing the onion and apple. When they are diced add them with the sage, and little salt and pepper to the melted coconut oil in a heavy bottomed sauce. Cook over low heat until the onion and apple are soft. Next, add the broth and water and simmer. When the broth has warmed add the cooked squash and almond milk, simmer for 15 minutes to bring all the flavors together. Purée the soup and serve warm with a big slice of warm toasted bread.