Butternut Squash Soup in a Pumpkin

I tend to write about my baking adventures here on my blog, but after professing my undying love for pumpkin, I just have to tell you about this amazing soup that I made last week. When I saw the cover of Food Network Magazine with a pumpkin on the cover, I bought the magazine without even really noticing what the recipe was, knowing that it was probably going to be something amazing. I was not disappointed. What the photo was showing was actually a small sugar pumpkin, cut open and baked, and then filled with some homemade butternut squash soup.

I purchased all the components for the soup at the farmers’ market around the corner and, the other night, when both my roommate and I were home, I made it. Let me just say once again – I LOVE PUMPKIN! The soup was easy to make, although bear in mind that butternut squash can be rather difficult to cut through, so be careful of your fingers! I probably shouldn’t have baked the lids of the pumpkins as they started to wilt and will probably add some more sugar when they bake next time so they’re a little sweeter when you’re eating the soup.

I love butternut squash and now that I know how easy it is to make I going to have to make it all the time. I think I’m going to stock up on the butternut squash that is always front and center at the farmers’ market so that I can have it all year. A dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream goes a long way and having an immersion blender makes the whole process much easier.

Butternut Squash Soup in a Pumpkin

Adapted from the Food Network Magazine

INGREDIENTS:

for the bowls:

  • 4 small baking pumpkins (such as hooligan or sugar pie),acorn squash or sweet dumpling squash
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Kosher salt

for the soup:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 medium butternut or kuri squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons
  • heavy cream (optional)
  • Freshly groundpepper

optional toppings:

  • pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
  • sourdough and/or pumpernickelcroutons
  • paprika, chili powder or Spanish pimenton
  • fried onions
  • fried sage or parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2) Use a paring knife to cut a large circle around the stem of each pumpkin (make a zigzag cut, if desired). Remove the lid and scoop out the seeds and fibers.

3) Sprinkle the inside of each with 1/2 teaspoon each sugar and salt. Place the pumpkins and lids on a baking sheet; roast until tender, 20 to 35 minutes, depending on their size.

4) Meanwhile, make the soup: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt.

5) Strip the thyme leaves into the pot, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and sugar and cook, stirring, until glazed, 3 to 4 minutes.

6) Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

7) Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender, crack the lid to let steam escape and puree until smooth; return to the saucepan (or puree directly in the pan with an immersion blender).

8) Stir in the heavy cream, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, and top as desired.

 

Advertisements

Pumpkin Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s officially fall and you know what that means? PUMPKIN SEASON! There are few things I enjoy more in life than pumpkin-inspired baked goods so you can imagine my delight when stores start stocking pumpkin purée and farmers’ markets have baskets full of sugar pumpkins and assorted squash! I decided to kick off my pumpkin habit this year with some pumpkin cookies that have a kick of chocolate and butterscotch in them.

These are pretty basic chewy pumpkin cookies that have butterscotch and chocolate. According to my roommate, the butterscotch and pumpkin go really well together – or as she put it “it’s like they’re copulating in my mouth”. Pumpkin cookies tend to be a little moist because pumpkin purée is so wet, so I highly recommend spreading them out on a large plate rather then trying to stack them as they will stick to each other.

This is only the first of what I imagine will be many many pumpkin related recipes that I expect to bake in the coming fall months. Today, I went to the local farmers market and bought mini-pumpkins to hopefully bake tomorrow with some squash soup. I also bought some indian corn to add to my the cornucopia-esque center piece in our living room. I’m big into the fall decorations 😉

PUMPKIN BUTTERSCOTCH CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

(Adapted from Joy The Baker)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola or corn oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

1) Position a rack in the middle of the oven . Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and butter the paper.

2) Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl and set aside.

3) In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs and sugar until smooth and lightened in color, about 1 minute.  Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.

4) On low speed, mix the oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended.  Mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it.  Mix in the chips.

5) Using an ice cream scoop with a 1/4-cup capacity, scoop mounds of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies at least 2 1/2-inches apart.

6) Bake the  cookies one sheet at a time until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 16 minutes.

7) Cool them on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

8) Enjoy!