Butternut squash are an important winter food, the rich orange flesh delivering vital nutrients in a sweet and velvety goodness that can be utilized in a variety of ways.
I use a pressure cooker to quickly process the squash, enabling me to deliver a delicious dish literally in a matter of minutes. As soon as the pressure cooker comes up to pressure I remove it from the heat.
Butternut squash reaches the perfect softness in minutes when processed in a pressure cooker.
When the pieces are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out easily with a spoon. If the skin has been cooked sufficiently and is very soft, another option is to process with the skins, preserving all of the nutrients.
Blend the squash to the desired consistency, adding the liquid remaining in the pressure cooker or water, 1/2 to 1 cup at a time.
Remember that most butternut squash soup (or pie) recipes call for additional liquid, such as any milk or creamer alternative, or in the recipe below, coconut milk.
Process the puree' until all lumps and texture have disappeared and the mixture is smooth and creamy.
• 6 cups butternut squash puree'
• 1 16 oz. can coconut milk
• 1 tbsp minced ginger
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp garlic powder
• 1/4 - 1/2 onion, cooked until carmelized
• Optional: 1/2 tsp red curry paste
1. Saute onion until clear.
2. Add to blended squash along with all other ingredients.
3. Heat and serve.
4. Option: Thinly slice 2 carrots and 2 stalks of celery and steam in a separate pot to speed their cooking. Add to the soup when soft. Garnish the bowl with a spring of cilantro.
You'll be amazed at the deliciousness of the coconut-ginger combination with the rich flavor of the butternut squash. Enjoy!
For more tips on storing winter squash. check out my other blog post for MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Douglas Stevenson is a long term member of The Farm Community, one of the largest and oldest ecovillages in the world. He is the author of The Farm Then and Now, a Model for Sustainable Living sold in MOTHER's Notable New Books. He is also the host of GreenLife Retreats, including The Farm Experience Weekend and workshops on organic gardening, sustainability, and living the green life!
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