By far my favorite squash, I have been looking forward to this post for months! To pick a good butternut look for smooth skin with no bruises or damage. The more orange the flesh the better, so buy from a good source for least risk of disappointment! Now a vegetable of this size may be intimidating to cut into, but with a few basic tools and steps it will be super easy! Remember that squashes are harder than fruits so more force with be required for cutting. Once I wash my beige beauty, I use a potato peeler and peel the entire outside. The orange treasure within will be visible. Now, take a large knife (I prefer a cleaver, but a chef's knife will also work) and grab a wooden rolling pin. Set your butternut on a cutting board and use the rolling pin to tap the knife into the squash to separate the long part from the bulbous portion at the end. I realize this seems silly, but you are saving your hands from serious pain. Continue using the rolling pin and knife method to cube up the squash.
Butternut Squash Soup
5 Tbsp Olive oil
4-6 cups butternut squash, cubed
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
4 celery sticks, diced
1/2 medium size onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 Tbsp dried rosemary or 1 Tbsp fresh
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Mix well and sweat for 5-7 minutes. add the squash and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the stock and spices. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then lower to a simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and using an immersion/stick blender (one of the most useful things in my kitchen) puree the soup until smooth. Serve hot with some fresh bread and maybe a little salad. Awesome for a cold night.
Secondly is a Butternut Squash Risotto. A little more complex but so great! Love love love this recipe!