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Butternut Squash Soup
By Lydia Jackson
While you can always open up a can of soup, this hearty autumnal comfort is best made from the real deal. This recipe comes from my sister, Naomi, who's a fantastic and highly creative cook. The great thing about this soup is that it’s extremely versatile for those with food restrictions. The recipe as written here is kosher, dairy free, gluten free and vegan. Alternatively, you can make this with cream and chicken stock and it will taste just as good. This is an easy dish that you can customize to your taste.
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 fresh jalapeño
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Split the squash in two and remove the seeds. Gently salt before wrapping both halves in tin foil. Cut the top of your pumpkin off as you would for a jack o'lantern and remove the seeds. Place the top back on. These go on a foil lined baking sheet and into a 375 degree oven for two hours or until the squash is completely tender; a fork should be able to poke through with no resistance. Note that the pumpkin will cook faster than the squash, since the flesh isn’t as thick. Check both periodically and take out as soon as they are done. Once the squashes are done, set aside to cool. You want to be able to comfortably handle scooping the squash from the skin. Use a large spoon or even an ice cream scooper to do this. For the pumpkin, I have often been able to gently peel away the cooked skin and scoop away the pumpkin flesh. Puree your butternut squash and pumpkin in either a food processor or in a soup pot with an immersion blender. Once the squashes are completely smooth, transfer to a soup pot if you haven’t already. Begin cooking at low heat. Whisk a can of coconut milk into your soup. Go slowly if you're using an immersion blender. From here, begin seasoning soup to taste. Start with a couple heavy pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Using a paring knife, slice open a jalapeño and remove the seeds. Let it simmer with your soup. You can also take a few cloves of garlic and gently crack them and also have them simmer. This should add a rich, savory flavor to your squash soup. Feel free to add other spices, such as smoked paprika or a little bit of cumin. Continue simmering for about 20 minutes. You can remove and discard the jalapeño and garlic. But I like to play a fun game called “Hide the Pepper” when I serve this to my friends from the Midwest. Enjoy.