When it comes to food in the summer, it’s all about barbeque chicken, ribs, steaks or hot links served alongside freshly made potato salad, sliced melon, baked beans and other traditional summer-like foods. But now that fall is upon us the menu is changing.
An assortment of fruits and vegetables including apples, cranberries, pears, broccoli and all sorts of squash are now in season and will soon be used to make warm, tasty, comfort-food type dishes that reflect the changing time of year.
One particular fall time favorite is Butternut Squash Soup shared by Manteca author Kerry Harris, in her cookbook, “The Devoted Cook.”
Harris has long since been accustomed to keeping an eye out for delectable new recipes to enjoy throughout different seasons, particularly when she owned the Main Street Café in Manteca over a decade ago and serving her customers the best meals was her aim. When Harris came across exceptional recipes she was quick to introduce them at the café, at home with her family or both. It was friend Brook (Tubbs) Colletta that introduced Harris to the delicious Butternut Squash Soup in which Harris was quick to appreciate the delectable taste. Along with the rich, creamy flavor of the Butternut Squash Soup and its ability to warm chilly bones on a cold day it also offers phenomenal health benefits.
Butternut squash is full of vitamin A & C, helpful for combating colds often caught during the winter, and also has plenty of potassium which is known for counteracting the effects of sodium which is something to consider when it comes to high blood pressure and heart disease. The autumn vegetable is an excellent source of fiber as well as beta carotene which is known to help prevent eye problems. With so many health benefits, perhaps butternut squash just might be considered a worthy staple for winter meals.
Harris kindly shares this health-filled recipe from The Devoted Cook, and admits the “soup is absolutely yummy” and believes that with just one spoonful, others will love it just as much as she does.
Butternut Squash Soup
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
1 onion, chopped
2/3 cup butter or margarine
16 cups peels and cubed butternut squash
8 to 10 cups of chicken broth
1-1/4 tsp dried marjoram
3/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
5 8 ounce packages of cream cheese
2-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Roast and peel squash. In a large saucepan sauté onions and butter until onions are tender. Add the squash, broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is tender.
Puree squash with the cream cheese and then return to the saucepan and heat through-do not boil.
For an Even Healthier Version:
Cut the pieces of squash in half and roast face down in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper and smashed garlic. When done, puree the squash with 1 cup of apple cider, sautéed onion, one peeled and chopped granny smith apple, 1 tsp nutmeg and a small amount of half and half. (Omit the cream cheese).