Buttercup squash soup to chase the howling winds away


Winnie the Pooh: Happy “Winds-day”, Piglet.
Piglet: [being blown away] Well… it isn’t… very happy… f-for me.
Winnie the Pooh: Where are you going, Piglet?
Piglet: That’s what I’m asking myself, where?¬†[he is lifted into the air by a gust of wind]
Piglet: W-Whoops! P-P-P-Pooh!
Winnie the Pooh: [grabbing Piglet’s scarf] And what do you think you will answer yourself?

If Pooh and Piglet were here in Toronto today, they would agree that today is most definitely a blustery day. With the gusts of wind howling around buildings and off roaring over rooftops – maybe taking a thing or two off with them – it’s a perfect day for a hearty soup. More specifically, buttercup squash soup.¬†Buttercup squashes are a variety of winter squash with a sweet, savoury, nutty flavour to it. They taste more like sweet potatoes than pumpkin, and are perfect for roasting, and taste fantastic in a soup.

Ingredients: (serves 4-5)

  • 750mL of beef stock (you can substitute with chicken stock for a lighter flavour or vegetable stock if you’re vegetarian or vegan)
  • 2 buttercup squashes, chopped
  • 5 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 ear of corn, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme (or dried, if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (your choice, I used hazelnut oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Behind a tough skin

The colder weather of the winter season always brings out the cravings for hearty, hot foods. One of my favorite seasonal ingredients to cook with is squash.

Not only is squash high in nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B, and antioxidants, but its versatile flavour and dense texture makes it a great complement to pretty much any main dish. It’s all in how you prepare it. My own preference: baked maple-glazed butternut squash. And all you need are a few simple ingredients.

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme (or 1-1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried or fresh rosemary (if you’re using fresh rosemary, chop the rosemary or bruise it with the back of your knife. This will release the essential oils from the rosemary.)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon maple syrup (or 3/4 tablespoon of brown sugar if you don’t have maple syrup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper, to taste

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