The days and nights are getting a little bit cooler, crickets are chirping outside our windows at the most unfortunate times to wake us from a deep slumber, Halloween decorations are showing up at the stores and, of course, delicious fall foods are cropping up all over the grocery store.
When we asked our readers to share their favorite fall foods, we got great responses. On Twitter – follow us @staceyviera – pumpkin was singled out pretty quickly. @lorig prefers hers in pumpkin pie, whereas @zenmasterlauren will enjoy any dish with “pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg.” @jeffdonald reminded us that sports fans have their own fall favorites, and his is “chili paired with football.” (Jeff, doesn’t the leather get stuck in your teeth?) Reader Rebecca Nolen from Dallas, Texas, enjoys Brussels sprouts, and we hear that if you cook them just right, they really are quite tasty! Taking all of the great ideas into account, for this week’s post, we decided to go with a great idea from @rakhigupta and @volcanojw: butternut squash soup.
Butternut squash, one of several types of winter squash, is an excellent source of Vitamin A (hence the color). It also provides Vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber. Since squash purees so nicely, it’s a great vegetable boost to other soups and sauces.
Here’s how we made butternut squash and apple soup:
In a big pot on the stove, heat about a tablespoon of oil. Add one chopped onion and cook until softened. Add 3 cups chopped butternut squash. (We used pre-cut fresh squash from the produce section.) Take 2 peeled and diced apples – Macintosh, for instance – and add them to the pot with approximately 4 cups of stock and/or water. Make sure that the liquid covers the squash and add more if you desire a more liquid soup. Cook uncovered for about 40 minutes, until the squash is easily mashed. Remove from heat. Working in 1-cup batches, puree the contents of the pot in a blender. If you’d like a chunkier soup, just use an immersion blender. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. When you’re ready to serve, add cinnamon and nutmeg or a few sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice that can be found in the spice isle at the market.
Adding apples to the squash soup adds fiber (mostly in the skin, so save that for a snack), Vitamin C, and additional fall food fun.
What are your fall favorites? Add your comment or share it with us on Twitter @staceyviera. Happy Autumn and Happy Eating!
How Stacey Got the Shot: ISO 800 at f/4.5 in ¼ second. Used a tripod and diffused lighting.