It’s fall. And in Texas that means a very welcome change in the weather…and the menu. I love winter foods: the roasts and stews and counters full of baked things.
A friend of mine recently sent out a butternut squash stew recipe (thanks Allison!) and I made it right away. Few things say “FALL” like squash, right?
It was not the typical pureed squash soup but rather like a tortilla soup – chunky and spicy and garnished with chips and yogurt. It was a perfect way to kick off soup season.
Like most stews, there is a lot going on in there…leeks, parsnips, herbs, corn and beans. You could certainly eat it plain, but we put it over couscous and garnished with cheese, chips and yogurt (the tangy Greek kind – way better than regular, I think!) Just like a tortilla soup…and if you used vegetable broth and nixed the dairy, I think it would even be vegan, right?
As with most soups, this was even better the next day. I liked it more than my husband did…he wanted it thicker, I think. Which made me think about pureeing some of the squash and the parsnips and adding them back into the broth. But I didn’t want to mess up the original…so I just made a whole different soup.
This one roasts the veggies first – squash, onions and garlic – and mixes it with sautéed leeks and broth and herbs. No cream keeps it lighter than usual and everything gets blended together for a more typical velvety squash soup. Top with some grated Asiago and peppered popcorn and, yes, Fall has arrived.
Squash Stew in a Crockpot
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 cups butternut squash — peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
- 1 leek — cleaned and chopped
- 1/4 celery — sliced (I left out the celery because no one in my house likes it!)
- 1/2 cup carrot or parsnip — finely chopped (I used parsnips)
- 3 large garlic cloves — minced
- 1/4 to 2 chipotle peppers — minced, to taste (go easy here, the broth is light and will easily be overpowered…you can also use the powdered spice)
- 1 Tbs fresh basil — chopped
- 1 Tbs fresh parsley — chopped
- Fresh parsley — for garnish
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 can (14 oz) Rotel tomatoes w/mild chilis
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans — drained (you can sub great white beans or kidney beans if you prefer)
- 1 can hominy drained (not in Allison’s original recipe…the point is you can play with some of this stuff…add what you like)
- 1 cup whole kernel corn (fresh, canned or frozen)
- 2 limes — cut into wedges for garnish
- Tortilla chips for garnish
- Light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for garnish (we like Oikos)
- shredded cheese for garnish
Put butternut squash in crockpot.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the leeks, celery, carrots/parsnips and garlic. Cook and stir for 5-7 mins on medium high heat until vegetables start to soften. Place leek mixture in crock pot. Stir in chipotle peppers, basil, parsley and cumin. Mix in Rotel tomatoes, broth, beans and corn. Put the lid on it and cook on high for 3-4 hours until squash is fork tender.
You can serve it in a bowl on a bed of quinoa…couscous or brown rice would be good too. After you ladle it into bowls, squeeze lime juice over it and top with crushed tortilla chips and dollop of sour cream/yogurt. Sprinkle a little cheese and parsley on top. Freezes well.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash
3-4 cloves garlic
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
3 TB butter
thyme, fresh or dried, to taste
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper
Roast the squash, onions and garlic in a 350 oven for about 25 minutes (until very soft.) Sauté leek in butter for 5 – 6 minutes. Add roasted onion and garlic to leek. Scrape out soft squash into leek mixture. Add thyme and broth. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Use an immersion blender (or do in batches in a regular blender) and puree until smooth. You can add additional broth if needed to get the consistency you prefer. Garnish with grated cheese or crackers or popcorn or roasted nuts. Freezes well.