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Thursday Recipe Exchange: Roasted Butternut Squash-Apple Soup

First some housekeeping – there will not be a recipe exchange next Thursday as I will be headed to the beach for some needed R&R.

On to today’s recipes. About this time of year I receive a number of requests for squash and sweet potato soup recipes. I have several:  Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup, Sweet Potato SoupButternut Squash & Leek Soup and Winter Squash Soup (click on each for the recipes).

That brings us to tonight’s featured recipe. The base recipe came to me via an email. I looked over the recipe and thought it needed some punch. The first thing I did was roast the squash to help bring some depth to the dish. I added a little heat and finished with a splash of lemon juice to brighten everything when it was done. I don’t think of it as a stand-alone soup (like my very favorite Tomato-Spinach soup), but I think it would work well as a first course in any meal. I think it would be especially nice at a Thanksgiving table.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Spiced Apple Soup

  • 4 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large apples – tart works well, but I used my neighbor’s backyard apples which worked great
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 12 cups (3 quarts) water or vegetable broth
  • splash of lemon juice

baking dish, dutch oven or large saucepan

Put about 1/4 inch of water in the baking dish, put squash face down and roast at 375 degrees until it is easy to put a fork through the skin. Turn over and continue roasting until tender and squash are golden brown. About 30-40 minutes. You can turn the heat up after you flip them to brown them, if desired. Remove to cool.

Meanwhile, core and slice apples into about 1 inch pieces. No need to peel or get fancy with the dicing since this is a puréed soup. Melt butter in the saucepan, add apple, onions and sauté until apples are soft and onions are golden. Add spices and coat the apple mixture. Scrape squash from skins and add to the apples, add water or broth. You can use chicken broth, but to keep it vegetarian I used vegetable broth. Let simmer for 30 minutes, purée until smooth, heat an additional 5-10 minutes, adding water if necessary and add a splash of lemon juice just before serving.

You can use a blender or hand blender to purée the mixture. If you use a blender, add a couple of ladles of soup to the blender, cover and blend slowly to start, to keep the mixture from expanding too much. I’ve seen hot liquid blow the lid off…you don’t want that. Blend in small batches. With a hand blender, keep it immersed and again blend slowly, to avoid splattering the hot liquid.

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Marinated Portobello Mushrooms with Onions

Another recipe from my friend Denise:

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms with Onions

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup low sodium tamari sauce
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 onion, sliced thick
  • 4 whole wheat rolls

Blend liquid together and marinate mushrooms overnight in a zip-lock bag. Grill 3-5 minutes each side, until tender. Grill onions slices. Serve mushrooms and onions on whole wheat rolls.

Portobello Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

Okay, I’m back online again.  It was a rough week and I’m glad it’s over.  This week will be better.  Starting it off with seeing Up In The Air and then disc 2 of The #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency arrives today from Netflix.  To top it all off it will be almost 60 degrees here. 

So here’s vegetarian recipe to start us off.

I’ve gotten quite a few phone calls over the years from my friend Denise wondering what to cook or how to cook something.  She’d be the first to admit she doesn’t like to cook – hates it even.  Until she found a cooking style she really likes, then she began to really enjoy cooking.  Most of these recipes are fresh, light and very quick.  I’ll feature a few over the next few weeks.  This is one of her new favorite recipes:

Portobello Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms caps
  • 2 tbsp red wine or cooking sherry
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable broth
  • 2 clove crushed garlic

skillet

Heat liquid in skillet on high until it boils, reduce to medium heat, add mushrooms – top side down – and cook for 3 minutes, until brown, add water if needed, then turn mushrooms and cook bottom side down for 5 minutes, covered. Serve with steamed rice

Stuffed Acorn Squash

This is one of my favorite squash recipes.  It is hearty enough to be an entrée with a nice salad.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 Acorn Squash, halved and cleaned
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 4-6 mushrooms, washed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 lb spicy sausage (you can omit or substitute ground turkey or tofu)
  • 3 cups stuffing bread cubes
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth (more as needed to moisten)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of sage
  • pinch of marjoram
  • salt & pepper to taste

baking dish and saucepan

Place squash, cut side down, in an oiled baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until tender.  While they are cooking, sauté onions and mushrooms in olive oil, remove and set aside.  Brown sausage and drain, then add all ingredients to sausage mixing well.  Add more chicken broth as needed to completely moisten stuffing.  Fill each acorn half with stuffing mix (covering the top of the squash completely), cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.