Butternut Squash #Soup {#Recipe}

ButternutSquashSoup

The butternut squash is a winter squash that is often thought of as a vegetable even though it’s actually a fruit. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to pumpkins and gets sweeter as it ripens. Like pumpkins, you can eat the seeds raw or roasted.

The other month, I made the first soup batch of the season for one of my groups to celebrate the Autumn Equinox, each other, the work we do as a group within our local community, and to celebrate our awesome group founder who’s moving in a couple of weeks.

This creamy soup was absolutely divine. Savory with just the right amount of sweetness to please tongue.

I’ll share my recipe but I’m sorry to say, you won’t be able to replicate it exactly. I forgot to grab the green apples so I ended up using my homemade apple butter from last year. I’ll post that recipe later this year but unless you’ve made a batch with my same ingredients, the taste might not come out the same due to the additional spices I used.

The batch I made was enough to feed 8, send home 2 more bowls, and left 2 more bowlfuls for the next day.

Time to collect the magic ingredients, and if you’re like me, set the mood in the kitchen with candles and music to get you in that moment of peaceful happiness.

  • 2 Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp local Honey
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium White Onion, diced
  • 2-3 Green Apples or 8oz. homemade Apple Butter
  • 14.5oz. Vegetable Broth
  • 8oz. Heavy Cream
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Optional garnishings: fresh rosemary and/or fresh cream

Now that you have all the ingredients, get out the knives, a spoon for scooping, garlic press, cutting board, and food masher.

  1. Cut and peel butternut squash in half. Spoon out the seeds and stringy flesh from squash. Then dice the squash.
    I personally prefer to save my seeds for eating and planting instead of tossing them out.
  2. Mince or press 2-3 garlic cloves.
  3. Peel and dice the white onion.
  4. In a large baking dish, add squash, garlic, white onions, honey, apple butter (or green apples), olive oil, salt & pepper, and STIR to mix all the ingredients together.
  5. Bake at 400 for 45min-1hr until the squash is mashable.
  6. Once mashable, MASH it! 🙂

We’re almost there, it’s time to get that soup going! Grab your blender or mixer, vegetable broth, heavy cream, and still warm roasted mashed squash, blend all the ingredients together til you get to the soup thickness you prefer then pour some into a bowl. Add a dollop of fresh cream and a bit of rosemary to your soup. Now grab your spoon and dig in!

Autumn Afternoon in My Mouth

PumpkinHarvestCrispGreekYogurt

Pumpkin Harvest Crisp greek yogurt from Chobani is yummy to my tummy. It’s one of their limited batch “flip” flavors that I personally discovered why at Lowes Foods grocery store this week and seriously pondering whether to stock up on it or not while I can this autumn season. The “flip” part of the container is filled with crispy yumminess that gets dumped onto the pumpkin flavored greek yogurt. Pie crust pieces, pecans and glazed pumpkin seeds create this delightful crispy yumminess.

It’s crunchy, it’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s like a cozy get together on a crisp autumn afternoon in my mouth – YUM!

Do you have a seasonal greek yogurt flavor? I think I’ve just found mine.

Hello September

In the Latin language, septem means “seven” and September was originally the 7th month in the Roman calendar which had only ten months until around 153 B.C. (wikipedia)

Her stone is Sapphire, she is most commonly seen in blue, but also has shades of black, green, orange, pink, violet, white, and yellow.

“The magnificent and holy Sapphire, in all its celestial hues, is a stone of wisdom and royalty, of prophecy and Divine favor. It is forever associated with sacred things and considered the gem of gems, a jewel steeped in the history and lore of nearly every religion. To the ancient and medieval world, Sapphire of heavenly blue signified the height of celestial hope and faith, and was believed to bring protection, good fortune and spiritual insight. It was a symbol of power and strength, but also of kindness and wise judgment.

In Hebrew lore, King Solomon and Abraham both wore talismans of Sapphire, and the Law given to Moses on the Mount was said to be engraved on tablets of Sapphire. The Greeks wore it for wisdom at Delphi when seeking answers from the Oracle at Apollo’s Shrine. Buddhists believed it brought devotion and spiritual enlightenment, and the Hindus considered Sapphire as one of the “great gems” used in offerings in the temples for worship and to align astrological influences. In Christianity it was used in ecclesiastical rings, and was cherished by kings and nobility for its powers of protection and insight. [Kunz, 104, 241][Mella, 103][Eason, 247][Fernie, 96, 102-103]

As a talisman, Sapphire was thought to preserve chastity, discover fraud and treachery, protect its wearer from poison, plague, fever and skin diseases, and had great power in resisting black magic and ill-wishing. It healed ailments of the eyes, increased concentration, and would lose luster if worn by an intemperate or impious person. [www.sacred-texts.com]

Today Sapphire is still a Stone of Wisdom, a royal stone of learning, mental acuity and psychic activation, a seeker after spiritual truth. Its pure Blue Ray brings order and healing to the mind, lending strength and focus, and an ability to see beneath surface appearances to underlying truths and to utilize that knowledge. It stimulates the Throat and Third Eye Chakras, allowing one to access deeper levels of consciousness in order to gain a fuller understanding of self. Associated with the planet Saturn, Blue Sapphire embraces order, structure, and self-discipline, and is ideal for accomplishing goals and manifesting ideas into form. Sapphire’s power to transmute negative thoughts and energy also makes it highly effective for earth and chakra healing. [Hall, 253][Ahsian, 340][Simmons, 339]” from From http://www.bernardine.com/gemstones/sapphire.html

Aster is the lovely flower of September, a symbolism of love, faith, and wisdom.

“A Greek legend tells the tale of Astraea, the goddess of innocence, who went to live in the heavens as the constellation Virgo. A flood covered earth, created by Zeus to wipe the planet clean of corruptness. Two humans survived on Mt. Parnassus, which the flood did not reach. Astraea created starlight to guide the pair and as she wept from pity she had for them, her tears landed on earth. From those locations asters grew.

Folklore also states that the perfume generated from burning aster leaves was able to keep evil serpents at bay. They were also believed to bring luck and one legend points to the aster as being able to foretell a change in weather. When the petals are closed, it is a signal of oncoming rain.

Another myth involves magical fairies who were thought to sleep under the aster petals after they close at sunset and as the plant was ruled by Venus, it was a common ingredient used in love potions and referred to as the ‘herb of Venus.’” – from http://www.whatsmybirthflower.com/september-birth-flower/

September is the month that most children are officially back in school and in the old days it wasn’t uncommon for teachers to receive apples on the first day from students in hopes that they’d be in good graces with their teachers.

Did you know that apples have always been a popular tool for reading the future? One method of divination is by counting whole apple seeds after slicing the apple in the middle (transversely / longitudinally).

1 seed- you will have a surprise coming your way
2 seeds- you will have good luck
3 seeds- you will have bad luck
4 seeds- you will have wealth
5 seeds- you will have a happy relationship
6 seeds- you will have success with you work
7 seeds- you will travel someplace you have longed to go
8+ seeds- your life will be abundant

And who doesn’t remember twisting the apple stem as kids reciting the ABC’s with each twist and stopping when the stem breaks free from the apple? The letter we stopped with was supposed to be the first letter of the name of the one we loved or the one who loved us.

September is a month filled with great Summer Clearance sales. Be sure to check out TrueCouponing.com’s post on What to buy in September to find items to add to your shipping list this month.

If you’re curious of some observances that some in the United States observe with awareness campaigns during the month of September, they include:

  • Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
  • National Ovarian Cancer Month
  • National Prostate Health Month
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
  • Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
  • Food Safety Education Month
  • National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
  • National Preparedness Month
  • National Sickle Cell Awareness Month
  • National Bourbon Heritage Month – “America’s Native Spirit”
  • National Better Breakfast Month
  • National Honey Month – promotes US Beekeeping, the beekeeping industry and honey as a natural and beneficial sweetener

Other observances the US and some internationally observe, include:

  • Sept 5: International Day of Charity (International)
  • Sept 5: National Cheese Pizza Day – Yes, a guilt-free reason to order pizza!
  • Sept 6: National Coffee Ice Cream Day
  • Sept 6-12: National Suicide Prevention Week
  • Sept 7: Labor Day – honors the American labor movement
  • Sept 13: National Grandparents’ Day – Note to self, don’t forget mom (aka Nana by kids) and Grandma
  • Sept 14-17: Constitution Week – promotes the study and education about the constitution which was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on September 17, 1787
  • Sept 18: National POW/MIA Recognition Day – honors those who were prisoners of war or still missing in action
  • Sept 20-26: Tolkein Week – We must celebrate the birth of our beloved Tolkein Hobbits, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins of course! It’s said that they were both born on Sept 22nd but several years apart.
  • Sep 26: National Public Lands Day – event of the National Environmental Education Foundation that promotes both enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands

September is also the first month of my favorite season, autumn. Where I live in North Carolina that means I can wear long sleeves and short sleeves without being too hot or too cold. The temperature is just perfect between 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit. LOVE it! In the United States, considered part of the northern hemisphere, the autumnal equinox is September 24th. I’ll be celebrating her presence indeed with soups, freshly made bread, and my first warm cup of apple cider of the season.