I love roasted butternut squash soup. This one stands out because of the other flavors involved: apples, hint of chili, rosemary, coriander, and of course cream. It’s also fairly easy because pretty much everything just roasts together for the same amount of time.
I altered this recipe from NPR, (which originally was a Jamie Oliver recipe) just a little bit. They suggested putting the pumpkin seeds in the oven alongside the vegetables for 10-15 minutes, but that resulted in black, smelly pumpkin seeds. Instead, I just toasted them on a skillet for a few minutes, stirring a few times to make sure they got evenly browned.
- 1 butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 firm, sweet apples, such as Braeburn, Pink Lady or Jazz, peeled, cored and quartered–I used Honeycrisp from the Grand Army Plaza farmer’s market
- 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 fresh hot red chili, seeded and finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and crushed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, separated
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (the shelled kernels, sometimes called pepitas)
- 3 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2/3 cup light cream–I used a combination of half and half and heavy cream, and you can probably get away with less cream if you want to keep it light.
- Pumpkin seed oil, for garnish(I did not use this)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spread the squash, apples, onion, chili and garlic on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, coriander and rosemary. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil and toss until well coated. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until all the vegetables are cooked through and golden.
- Heat a skillet to medium-low, and toast pumpkin seeds, tossing occasionally, until evenly browned–about 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven. When they are cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic from the peel. If you have an immersion blender, scrape the vegetables into a large pot. Deglaze the baking sheet with 1/4 cup boiling water, scraping at the burned-on bits to capture them. Add the water to the pot. Add the stock to the pot and puree, using the immersion blender.
- If you are using a countertop blender, deglaze the pan as above and pour into the blender. Add roughly 1/3 of the vegetables from the baking sheet and puree. Transfer puree to a large pot. Continue this process with the rest of the vegetables, using the stock.
- Once the vegetables are pureed in the pot, add the cream and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer until the soup is warmed through and reaches your preferred consistency.
- To serve, divide into bowls. Drizzle with pumpkin seed oil (or not). Top with toasted pumpkin seeds.
This recipe was adapted from Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday. He suggested using frisee or escarole, but we had baby spinach and romaine–so we used that. We also substituted the suggested queso anejo for cotija cheese.
1 medium-large head (8 ounces) frisee or escarole, root end cut off, the remainder cut into 2-inch sections
2 medium-large (about 1 pound total) ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2 inch (or smaller) cubes
2 medium avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/2 inch (or smaller) cubes
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (divided use)
1 pound skirt steak
ground black pepper
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press
1/4 cup beef broth or water
1 canned chipotle chile en adobo, seeds scraped out and finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
About 1/3 cup grated Mexican Queso anejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan
Scoop the greens into a large bowl. Spread the tomatoes and avocados over the top.
Set a very large (12-inch) heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and measure in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle both sides of the skirt steak with salt and pepper. Lay it in the hot oil and cook until it’s about medium-rare, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on each side. remove to a cooking rack set over a large plate–this keeps the juices in the meat rather than running out onto the plate.
Turn the heat under the skillet to low. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, until very fragrant. Then pour in the broth (or water) and stir to release any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet (the liquid will quickly come to a boil.) Turn off the heat and add the chile, along with the lime juice and the remaining 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt (usually 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon).
Cut the skirt steak into roughly 3-inch lengths, then cut each piece across the grain into 1/4-inch strips. Add to the bowl with the frisee. Pour the warm dressing over the frisee and toss to coat thoroughly–the greens will wilt slightly. Divide among four dinner plates or large salad bowls. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve right away.