Butternut Squash, Apples and Bacon!!

In between carving a pumpkin and answering the door, giving handfuls of candy to adorably costumed kiddo’s, I decided to make a hearty fall themed dinner – Pureed Butternut Squash Soup and Baked Apples.  The thought alone filled me with warm fuzzies!

I’ve not had much experience with Butternut Squash.  As with anything new, I learned a few things, 1) I need new knives 2) Butternut Squash is a pain to cut.  My finger tips were numb for a few minutes and 3) did I mention I need new knives!?  The rind of Butternut Squash is very thick and hard. I cracked open the squash and was pleasantly surprised by its fresh, faint sweet aroma.  Simmered and then pureed with onion, garlic, ginger and orange juice, the soup was light, delicious and a true comfort in the belly!  Being I often like to add my own twist, in addition to the suggested sour cream and pepitas, I added some crumbled, crisped bacon! Yes, I said BACON!! You didn’t really think I’d go all vegetarian did ya!? 😉

Pureed Butternut Squash Soup

Pureed Butternut Squash Soup
(courtesy Martha Stewart)

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 3/4 pounds small butternut squash, prepared and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
coarse salt and ground pepper
Sour Cream (optional)
Pepitas (aka Pumpkin Seeds :))

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and squash; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer until squash is tender, 20 minutes.

2. Puree soup in two batches. When blending hot foods, allow the heat to escape to prevent splattering. Remove the cap from the hole of the blender’s lid, and cover with a dish towel.  Stir in juice and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Serve hot, with sour cream, pepper, and pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Dinner is served!

While the soup was simmering, I washed and cored a few apples. I filled the cavity of the apples with a tablespoon of butter and approximately 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I topped the apples with a dusting of cinnamon and popped in a 375 preheated oven and baked for 45 minutes.

Baked Apples, ready to go in the oven!

The result was the equivalent to a warm apple pie, without the crust!  Personally, a nice flakey, buttery crust is my favorite part of any pie.  But with these baked apples, I didn’t even miss it! 😉 The apples were baked to submission and the brown sugar melted into a gooey, sticky syrup of sugary deliciousness!

Baked Apples, hot out of the oven!

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