The butternut squash (also called butternut pumpkin in Australia) is a much under-appreciated vegetable, similar to a pumpkin. Here are some ideas for what to do with one.
Butternut squash soup
1 butternut squash
Peel and finely slice the onion and squash (remove the fibrous part of the squash of course). Melt a large knob of butter (about a quarter of a packet if you can bear the thought of that much butter) in a large saucepan and put the onion and squash in. Cook gently until the onion is soft, stirring to coat everything in butter. Add water to just cover, bring to boil and simmer until everything is tender. Blend it, add salt and cayenne pepper to taste, and thin with milk to whatever consistency you prefer (often you don't need to bother). Oh yes, and stir in some more butter if you care not for your cholesterol level.
You can make it more complicated (and better) by sieving after blending (improves the texture quite a lot, but is very tedious), by roasting half of the squash separately and combining that with the rest of the soup, stirring in tiny cubes of sauted squash at the end and even a grating of raw squash to garnish it.
One researcher suggests adding bacon bones and a bit of bacon stock instead of the milk.
Butternut squash and bacon soup
1 Large onion
1 Butternut Squash
500g smoked bacon (rashers, lardons, or "bits")
1 litre vegetable stock
Fresh ground black pepper
Chop the onions and fry gently in the olive oil in a large saucepan. Chop the bacon and add to the pan (if your bacon is the supermarket type that seems to contain 50% water, you might find it better to fry it separately in batches to get it crispy). Peel and deseed the squash, chop and add to the pan. Peel the carrot, chop and add. Add the stock, fresh ground black pepper and simmer for about 30 minutes. Whizz up with a hand-held mixer until smooth.
Butternut squash and red pepper soup
1 butternut squash
3 red peppers
3-6 red chillies (depending on how spicy you like things!)
about 3 pints of veg stock.*
Peel and de-seed the squash, cut the peppers in half and remove the stalk and seeds. De-seed the chillies, then roast together in a pre heated oven at about 190 degrees for 30 minutes. Whizz in blender and add stock until it is as runny as you like.
Roasting and baking
Butternut squash galette
Roast the squash with garlic and smush them both up with some cheese, herbs and onion, stick it in the middle of some pie dough, wrap the pie dough around it and bake it topped with blue cheese.
Stuffed baked butternut squash
Take butternut squash, slice it down the centre and clean it out. Stuff the scooped out centre with a bread-herb-buttery-oniony-garlicky stuffing and - once stuffed - place it down-side on a buttered baking sheet and bake it.
After the squash is cooked through, turn it upright onto a platter and scoop out the squash with stuffing. Heaven.
Toasted almonds also go well in the stuffing.
Slow roasted butternut squash
Take one largish butternut squash and split it in half longways. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and score the surface lightly with a diagonal pattern. Place a small amount of crushed garlic in the hollow, followed by a large amount of butter, the diagonal scoring will ensure that the butter soaks all the way in. Sprinkle with sea salt, and cracked black pepper. Place the two halves in an oven set on its lowest setting. Brush with the melted butter every half an hour or so, adding more butter as necessary. Leave in the oven for at least 2 hours, but preferably much longer.
To serve, scoop out the soft melty flesh, and enjoy.
Butternut Squash Chili
1 med. butternut squash, cut into 1" chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
1 can hominy*
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1-5 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (to taste...5 is pretty hot)
1 tablespoon cumin
water to cover
Sauté squash, onion, garlic, green peppers and jalapeños in olive oil until onions are soft. add cumin, add water until squash is barely covered. Put a lid on it and let it go for about an hour. Open up, stir, add hominy and heat through. Puree half, add back in, and serve with sour cream.
Butternut squash risotto
Prepare the basic risotto as in this entry. Stir in pureed baked butternut squash at the end.