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Filtering by Tag: butternut squash

Zuppa di Zucca (Roasted Butternut Squash Soup)


As I promised you last week,  here is my recipe for butternut squash soup, a dish that always shows up on our table on Thanksgiving day. It is extremely simple to make because it has only a few ingredients. If you can, make your own chicken or vegetable broth for it; it will make a world of a difference in the taste. Cut the butternut squash in large chunks, removing the seeds. Place the cut-up pieces in a baking dish along with an unpeeled onion cut in half vertically and an unpeeled head of garlic, with its top cut off to expose the cloves.

Sprinkle with some fresh thyme and drizzle with olive oil

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 1 hour or more until soft.

Once cool, using a spoon remove the squash pulp from skin and place in a food processor with the onion (remove outer skin) and squeeze as many garlic cloves as you like into the bowl.

Puree until smooth.

Place in a pot and thin it out with 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.

Sprinkle with a little bit of chopped parsley; or you can fry a few sage leaves and place them on top of the soup.

Enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving!

Zuppa di Zucca

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

2 pounds butternut squash, unpeeled, seeds removed, cut into 10 pieces

1 unpeeled garlic head

1 large onion, unpeeled cut in half, vertically

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 fresh thyme sprigs

2 cups (or more) chicken broth or vegetable broth

Minced fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut 1/3 inch off the top of the garlic head, exposing the cloves.  Arrange the garlic, squash and onion cut side up in large baking dish.  Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil.  Scatter the thyme over the vegetables.

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.  Uncover the vegetables and cool for 10 minutes.

Scrape the squash from the skin into the processor work bowl.  Peel outer layers and trim root end from onion halves.  Add onion to processor.   Separate 6 garlic cloves from head and squeeze the garlic in the bowl.   Puree the vegetables until smooth.  Add more roasted garlic if desired.

Transfer the puree to heavy large pot.  Wisk in 2 cups of chicken broth.  Stir over medium heat until heated through, adding more broth if thinner consistency is desired.

Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley.  You can serve the soup with crostini (toasted bread) spread with the remaining roasted garlic.

Serves 6

Zucca con la menta (Butternut squash marinated with garlic and mint)


This is the time of the year when I have to buy some vegetables at the market. (My family lives off what we grow in our backyard until November.) All the summer vegetables are winding down in my garden, and I can start buying my favorite fall vegetable, butternut squash. The easiest way to use butternut squash is to peel it, cut it in small cubes, and toss with salt, pepper and olive oil.  Then roast the cubes at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes until soft.

How do I love butternut squash? Let me count the ways: tossed in pasta or farro, added to a risotto, as a filling for stuffed pasta, tossed with arugula for a salad,  pureed  as side dish, or on top of pizza. Another of my favorite ways to use it is to make a simple roasted butternut squash soup for Thanksgiving. I will share this recipe with you next week in time for you to make it for the holidays.

Two of my most favorite methods of preparing butternut squash are the Calabrian, as zucca con la menta, and the Sicilian, as zucca in agrodolce. They can be served as a side dish or part of an appetizer buffet. I can’t give you the recipe for the Calabrian version word for word as it will be included in my upcoming cookbook, but I can show you with pictures and, it being a simple dish, you can make it right now rather than wait until next year!

Peel the butternut squash, cut it in half, scoop out the seeds from the lower half, and slice it into ¼ inch slices. You will get half moon slices from the upper section and C shapes from the lower section.

The slices are fried in olive oil until golden.

As you fry them, place them on a platter and sprinkle them with salt. Drizzle with red wine vinegar, and add some sliced garlic and fresh mint.  Continue this layering process until done.  Drizzle with additional olive oil if it seems dry. Let it marinate for at least a couple of hours.

If you want to make the Sicilian version, zucca in agrodolce,  meaning a dish that is sweet and sour, which my mother-in-law makes,  do the same layering processing by adding the garlic and the mint, but skip the vinegar on each layer and do the following instead:  keep two tablespoon of olive oil in the pan in which you fried the squash, and add 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar and three tablespoons of sugar.  Heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour over the fried pumpkin slices.