Pixel Tracker

Saturday, November 17 , 2018, 11:52 am | Fair with Haze 65º


Joe Hafner: Butternut Squash Soup Recipe to Warm Up Cool Autumn Nights

Now that I’m back from a busy summer, we are picking up with a recipe for the cool nights ahead. Word of Mouth will be back every two weeks starting today, and you can look forward to a special “20 Questions” next time.

Fall is here, and the farmers market is bursting with squash and pumpkins. As you prepare for the chillier months, give this easy soup recipe a try. It makes a great starter for the holidays and is east to reheat in a pinch.

My take on soups is that they are typically overcomplicated. Chunky soups often end up with overcooked components if they are simmered together or reheated. For most soups I prefer a smooth puree, adding garnish or additional ingredients at a later time. Simplicity is key and allows the flavor of the main ingredient to shine.

This technique works for peas, carrots, sweet potatoes and other root vegetables. You can adjust the spices and even omit the dairy. Sometimes you only need great product, stock and a bit of salt and pepper to turn out a fantastic bowl of soup.

Feel free to roast the squash and pumpkin beforehand for a rustic flavor, or reserve the extra to roast and add later. Variations for this recipe include adding ginger, honey, nuts and light cheeses such as fresh ricotta or chevre when serving. This soup is also great with a sprinkle of fresh sage.

Butternut Squash & Sugar Pumpkin Soup

1 each butternut squash/small sugar pumpkin peeled and diced (about two quarts total)
1 small white onion (diced small)
2.5 cups milk (enough to cover squash two-thirds of the way)
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch each ground cardamom, star anise and clove
Salt and pepper to taste
Maple syrup
Cream fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

Peel, seed and rough chop squash into 1-inch chunks. Select a pot large enough to accommodate the squash, leaving the pot half empty. In about a tablespoon of olive oil, sweat the onions and spices. Do not let the onions brown.

Add squash and pumpkin. Add milk to cover the squash two-thirds of the way. Cover the remaining with water or veggie stock. Add the spices, a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper.

Turn up the heat and bring to a simmer until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Do not let the soup come to a rolling boil.

When the soup is finished, remove the whole spices and puree solids in small batches in a blender. Add the reserved liquid slowly until the soup is smooth and the desired consistency. Cover the blender top with a towel and be sure the top is secure. You do not want to burn yourself!

If desired, strain the soup for a smoother consistency. If the soup is too thick, add a bit of the warm milk mixture to thin it out. Adjust the seasoning. Add maple syrup to taste for a little sweetness.

Top with crème fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

— Chef Joe Hafner writes the weekly Noozhawk column Word of Mouth and can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Elizabeth Wagner
Elizabeth Wagner
"I consider myself to be an up front and honest agent and willing to talk my clients out of purchasing a property that isn’t right for them or won’t meet their needs in a year or two."

Full Profile >