Monday, October 4, 2010

Recipe: Hard-to-Mess-Up Autumn Soup

I love butternut squash, known as pumpkin here.  As if it hadn't endeared me enough with its luscious twilight orange color (one of my favorites, see My Wedding 2005).  Then it has to go and be all delicious and versatile and what not.  Not to mention dirt cheap here ($1.30 for 2.2 lbs!)

Although its technically spring here at the moment, butternut squash is available here in all its autumnal brightness (I actually get a little tingle up my spine when I make that first cut into its skin and see that vibrant color!  Geez, Becky, get out much?).  Cooking and recipe searching/swapping has become one of my most favorite hobbies here so I thought I would take the fruits of some of my labors out of my kitchen and day dream that they just might land in yours.

Today I will start with an original recipe, for butternut squash of course.  But down the road, most recipes will probably come from other (see blogroll of favorite recipe sites).  I think I will turn this into a weekly series where I share what's cookin' in my kitchen.  Will try to make it seasonally appropriate for your Northerners that don't have things like year round butternut squash and avocado's the size of pineapples.  Hope you enjoy!

Hard-to-Mess-Up Autumn Soup
2 large zucchini’s, chopped into ½ inch chunks (about 4 cups)
2 lb butternut squash (or other pumpkin) chopped into ½ inch chunks (about 4 cups)
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ c)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c bulger wheat
2 tbsp tomato paste
4 – 6 cups water
1 tbsp fresh curly parsley
1 tbsp fresh basil
1 tbsp fresh oregano
(if fresh not available used 1 tsp dried.  You pick herbs, anything works)
Optional: 1 – 2 links savory Italian sausage
2 cups baby spinach
Fresh sweet corn
Fresh green peas

1) Pour oil into deep pot and tip in onion and garlic.  Saute until soft.
2) Add butternut, zucchini and mix with onion.  Saute for about 2 min
3) Add bulger wheat and coat vegetables.  Toast for about 1 min
4) Add tomato paste and water (sometimes I use 1/2 water, 1/2 chicken stock)
5) Cook for about 20 min, until butternut is soft.  Add fresh herbs and cook for another 10 min. 
6) At this point, if making ahead, I stop cooking and store the soup.
7) If serving immediately, add the optional ingredients.  I almost always make this with sausage for a little protein and savory boost.  Depends on what I have available.  If pre cooked sausage, I add in with herbs.  If uncooked sausage, I will cook it first in a pan before adding to soup (with herbs).  If using spinach, throw in just before serving and cook until leaves wilt.  Same with fresh corn and/or peas, throw in just before serving until heated through.
8) One of the great things about this soup is that it gets better with age.  Makes great leftovers and just gets thicker every day.  As a veg option, I suppose you could use quinoa for protein or also red lentils.


  1. Love the soup (I think I've had this one, no?), but if you're going to continue to post original recipes (and I think you should) we're going to have to work on your recipe names. How about "Effortless Autumn Soup"?