Harvest time has arrived in Madison. Berries for the birds and lovely fruits of the vine; a Cucurbita moschata for the humans. I picked our debut Butternut squash yesterday. This was our first year growing them and I wasn’t completely sure when it was ripe. I knew I wanted us to eat it, rather than the squirrels or chipmunks who’ve decimated our green beans to the nubbins. It looked like I remembered from shopping trips last fall…
I took a chance and removed it from the vine. After washing it, I cut it open and found a beautiful orange color. I called out excitedly, “It’s ripe! It’s ripe!” Our 12 year old has helped weed the garden, so they were duly proud of our produce too.
Butternut Squash Soup
I peeled off the skin, cut the squash into cubes, and dropped them into 3 quarts of a pre-made soup broth (about 3000 mL). I measured out 1/2 tsp each of my favorite Indian spices; cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and turmeric. I added a dash of savory because it is high in calcium. Salt and pepper, and a dash of tamari go into almost every dish I make. Once the squash was soft, I used our immersion blender to make a smooth soup. The whole family loved it.
I am thankful that the original inhabitants of the Americas developed the crops we eat every day. The indigenous people in present day Oaxaca, Mexico developed squash in 8000 BCE. A partial list of food plants from indigenous agriculture that now feed the world are; potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, corn, chocolate, pineapples, sunflowers, avocados, peanuts, cashews and many more.
What are your favorite meals of the season?