Happy Fall, everyone! It’s officially sweatshirt weather here in Northern Virginia and I am absolutely loving it. I enjoy the fresh produce and cool dishes of summer, but now comes my favorite cooking season with one-pot meals served with crusty bread, warm and hearty soups and stews and any number of meaty braises. It’s easy cooking that’s healthy, hearty and always has plenty of leftovers for busy weeknights.
I made one of my favorite soups last week, Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash, at the very first sign of fall. It’s one of those recipes that the moment there’s a chill in the air the cravings immediately begin. Although I haven’t used an actual recipe for it in years (I usually make so many changes that it becomes something else entirely) I thought it would be fun to share the original recipe with you. I searched high and low for it, finally finding the torn sheet of paper with my faded handwriting on it. I copied it from a magazine when my daughter Katie was just born which makes it about five years old.
This spicy soup warms you up from the inside out, plus it’s healthy. Even better, it’s one that everyone in the family loves, so I can make it over and over through fall and winter with no complaints. It’s got great flavor with just the right amount of kick – hope you like it!
Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
Source: Sunset Magazine
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 tablespoons grated ginger
• 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
• 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-in. cubes
• 3 cups chicken broth (vegetarians could use a veggie stock)
• 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
• 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
• crème fraîche (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a 4 to 5 quart pot over high heat.
2. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not yet browned (about 1 to 2 minutes).
3. Add cayenne and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
4. Add squash, broth, brown sugar, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
5. In a blender, purée the soup in batches until smooth, then pour back into the pot. Tip: I just use my hand blender which makes it much easier.
6. Stir in cream and adjust seasonings to taste.
7. Serve piping hot, with a swirl of crème fraîche if you like. (And trust me, you do!)
Readers – do you love to make a big pot of soup in the fall? Share your faves in the comments!
Kristy is a personal chef, web designer, freelance writer, and the food blogger behind The Wicked Noodle. She’s a happily married mom to two girls, a bit of a tech geek and loves animals, yoga, long naps and anything with chipotle in it.