So, after I made Butternut-Black Bean Tacoslast week, I had some butternut squash left over. There were many things I could have done with it, but after finding a beautiful head of kale, I decided to make butternut and kale soup.
This soup is packed with nutrients and it’s just plain delicious. Enjoy.Continue reading →
Why butternut and black bean tacos? Why not? Butternut squashes are fabulous. Anything inside a taco is fabulous. So butternut squash in a taco is…well…doubly fabulous.
Butternut squash is my favorite squash because it’s so versatile, and its flavor is so delicately sweet. It’s not fun to peel, but once you get past that part, you can do pretty much anything with it. So for this recipe, I’ve paired it with black beans, not just for the protein but because the two ingredients make such a beautiful contrast. Throw in some red bell pepper and it’s a sight to behold.
Leave the zucchini and other fair-weather vegetables to summer. Winter calls for thick-skinned squashes.
My favorite is butternut squash. In my opinion, it not only has the best flavor, but the best texture as well. When cooked down, it’s creamy and smooth, and incredibly diverse.
Roasting brings out the sweetness and beauty in most vegetables, but this is especially true of squash. My mother wanted me to roast squash for Thanksgiving and I wanted to come up with something that was familiar, that I knew would be liked, but something every-so-slightly different. I came up with an easy, delicious honey-soy-mirin glaze and honey-pomegranate sauce…because, you know, pomegranates.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard how healthful pomegranates are. Here’s a quick rundown of their health benefits:
Based on US RDA, one cup of pomegranate seeds contains 7 grams fiber, 3 grams protein, 30% vitamin C, 36% vitamin K, 16% folate, and 12% potassium. They have antiinflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.They help fight cancer, especially prostate and breast, and heart disease, and have been known to improve memory function.
Delicious AND healthy. Do you need anything more? Give this a try on a cold winter day…or even a warm one. Enjoy!
Roasted Butternut Squash with Honey-Soy-Mirin Glaze and Honey-Pomegranate Sauce
1 pomegranate 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon white wine or ginger ale
Grease a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel and seed the squash. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place them in a large bowl.In a small bowl, mix together the honey, olive oil, soy sauce, mirin. pour over the squash.
Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Use your hands to spread the mixture over both sides of the squash. Lay the slices neatly on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Roast until almost tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Turn the slices over and continue roasting until fully tender and golden brown at the edges.Meanwhile, make the Honey-Pomegranate Sauce. Cut open the pomegranate and place the pieces in a large bowl of cool water. Separate the seeds from the membrane and discard the skin. Let the membranes rise to the top and scoop them out.Drain in a mesh strainer and rinse.Measure out ½ cup seeds and place in a small pot. Reserve the remaining seeds for the top or another purpose. Mix together the honey and wine and add to pomegranate seeds. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes.Transfer cooked squash to a serving platter. Drizzle sauce over top, sprinkle on some fresh pomegranate seeds, and serve.
My parents’ garden comes up with great stuff every year. This season, they got butternut squash, and I took a cute little one for myself. The farmers’ market had great-looking parsnips, so I decided to make parsnip-butternut soup.
Because it’s October and I don’t have any fresh herbs left my garden, I turned to my dried herbs. You can use whatever dried herbs you have on hand or particularly like for soup. I used thyme and savory.
Also growing in my parents’ garden is celery. But it’s a kind of wild celery—in fact, it’s probably lovage, a relative of celery that has big leaves and small, thin stalks. I put some of these leaves into the soup and pureed everything together. It unexpectedly turned my soup green, so it kind of looks like split-pea soup. If I hadn’t done that, I would have ended up with something that looks more like typical butternut squash soup.
Regardless, it’s delicious. The parsnips give the soup an earthy tone, while the squash sweetens it up. It was just what I needed on a brisk autumn day. You can have it with croutons or chopped walnuts or little cooked cubes of butternut.
Give it a try. Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings.
1 teaspoon olive oil 1 small onion, chopped ½ teaspoon kosher salt 3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon dried spices (see instructions) 1 teaspoon garlic salt 2 cups cut-up parsnip (from 1 large parsnip) 2 cups vegetable broth 2 cups cut-up butternut squash (from 1 small squash) Fresh herbs, if available Black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and salt and cook until translucent.Add the garlic, bay leaf, dried spices (I used 1/2 teaspoon each thyme and savory), and garlic salt. Stir and continue cooking another 2 minutes.Add parsnips and saute, stirring often, until parsnips starts browning.Add broth. Bring to a boil.Add squash and any fresh herbs you want. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife. Add black pepper.Transfer to a blender and puree. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.Serve hot.