The last few weeks have been a culinary challenge for me. This happens every so often; despite my love of food and cooking, I just don’t have it in me to cook or even eat the healthy foods I believe in.
For a while, I found myself eating out a lot, eating leftovers, eating one dish for a meal.
I tried pulling myself out of the funk by trying some new recipes. I bought fancy, expensive ingredients, and used spices I had to buy special. But after a week of new dishes, the malaise persisted.
Eventually, I went back to what I know. I made macaroni and cheese, omelets, chicken salad, tacos. And then, when the chill returned to the air, I returned to soup.
In the past two weeks, I’ve made potato soup with friends, beef and veggie soup with whatever I could find in the fridge, kale/potato/turnip soup with the last vestiges of my CSA subscription, and then there was the butternut squash soup.
This past weekend was rainy and cold after our late summer heat wave, and I finally felt inspired to pull out the recipe book to find a way to use the butternut squash that has been in the fridge for a few weeks.
I paired it with a slice of fresh baked wheat bread, and for dessert, a piece of pumpkin bread. It was the perfect fall meal, and a perfect way to end the food slump.
Gingery Butternut Squash Soup
adapted from a recipe from Simply in Season
2 onions (chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger (peeled and minced) (NOTE: I used ginger powder and added it with the squash and apples below)
In a large soup pot saute in 1 tablespoon oil until onion is translucent.
2 apples (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
1 butternut squash (peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes; may use 2 cups cooked winter squash) (NOTE: I poked holes in the squash with a knife and cooked it in the microwave for about six minutes. Then, I cut the squash in half, scraped out the seeds, and cut the squash pulp out)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Add to pot (NOTE: I added about 1 tsp of salt and several shakes of pepper here) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash and apples are tender. Puree in blender until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley (optional) and serve. (NOTE: I also added some bacon crumbles on top.)