Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple-Ginger Soup

Apple Butternut Soup

We finally received some much needed rain here in Northern California a few weeks back. For a minute there, I forgot it was winter with all of the beautiful, warm days we’ve experienced in December and January.

It was a Friday night and I had planned for my dear friend Morgan to come over and make dinner together. That morning over text we both had same idea for dinner: SOUP! What a perfect choice to pair with this rainy evening. She had a few ideas that we kicked around and then we both settled on making a comforting squash soup with granny smith apples paired with a pear & pomegranate salad.

Apple Butternut Squash Soup & Salad

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 3 granny smith apples, peeled & cored
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 granny smith apple, for garnish

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Quarter the butternut squash, coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes – 1 hour. Remove the skin and let cool. (If your local store doesn’t have whole butternut squash available, check to see if they have cubed butternut squash.)

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Add the apples and 2 cups of broth into a blender or food processor (I used my Ninja and it worked great!) Puree until smooth and transfer it to a bowl. Set aside.  In a heavy stockpot, add olive oil, onions and garlic and saute over medium heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the onions from pot and place in a bowl. Transfer the apple / broth mixture to the stock pot and simmer. Add the cooled squash to the blender along with 1/2 cup of broth and puree until smooth. Add the squash puree to the apple / broth mixture. Add the half & half and stir continuously until completely mixed together. Add the fresh thyme and ginger. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.

Apples & Broth in Blender

Garnish soup with thin slices of apples & fresh thyme sprig. Enjoy with your favorite salad or crusty bread.

Serves 4 -6

Pear & Pom Salad

Pear, Pomegranate & Gorgonzola Salad

  • Arugula salad
  • 1 – 2 ripe pears, sliced
  • Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • Pomegranate seeds (click here to learn an easy way to deseed a pomegranate)
  • Walnuts, toasted
  • Citrus vinaigrette (recipe below)

Combine pears, cheese, pomegranates and toasted walnuts over a bed of arugula salad. To make this simple vinaigrette, combine juice from 1 orange, 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil (slowly added), salt & pepper.

Enjoy! ~Crystal

FALL in LOVE with FALL salad

ppWith our gardens filled with persimmons and pomegranates and Thanksgiving around the corner I was inspired to throw a few of my favorite fruits together and make a festive salad. Simple and delicious with colors that scream Fall, this salad will be a great addition to your Thanksgiving feast or a new just because treat. And don’t worry if you don’t think persimmons are your thing, give this combination a chance and you just might become a fan .

pp

FALL in LOVE with FALL salad (for 4)

  • 1 bag of Arugula (5 oz)
  • 3 Persimmons
  • 1 Pomegranate
  • 1 Red onion
  • Chia Seeds
  • Olive oil, one lemon, salt and pepper for dressing

I started off by slivering off round thin pieces of persimmon ( I used a mandoline) which can get tricky since some might not come out perfect, but its for taste so don’t worry. Place each sliver one by one covering each individual plate as I did or on your dish of choice if you are making a bigger salad. Take the arugula and toss with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and season to taste with salt pepper and when its ready place the greens in the middle of your dish so the persimmons are still visible. Add your red onions slices and I actually added slices of fennel as an afterthought which was great, and then top it off with sprinkles of chia and pomegranate seeds.  The salad is not only visually appetizing but taste amazing and fresh. Hope you enjoy!

Butternut Squash with Pancetta, Pomegranate Seeds, Arugula, Pears and Asiago Cheese

Butternut Squash with Pancetta, Pomegranate Seeds, Arugula, Pears and Asiago Cheese

One of the benefits of where I work is the opportunity to work with some exceptional chefs. The below recipe shared by  the Executive Chef at Kenwood Vineyards, Robin Lehnhoff-McCray, has it all. The sweet and nutty flavors from one of my favorite winter squashes married with tart pomegranate seeds (I’m on a pomegranate kick right now), crispy pancetta to add richness and texture, spicy arugula,  sweet pears and Asiago cheese for added complexity makes this recipe  the perfect winter dish. Serve it as your main entrée or as an accompaniment on the side.

1 large Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced 1 inch
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pomegranate seeds
8 ozs. pancetta, sliced thinly or cubed and cooked crisp
2 cups fresh baby arugula
2 large Bartlett pears, sliced thin
4-6 ozs Asiago cheese, grated
Butternut Squash Salad How To

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the squash, olive oil and salt and pepper to coat. Place this on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Bake until tender, 15 – 30 minutes (mine took about 20 mins). Uncover and continue to bake until the squash starts to turn brown on the edges. Sprinkle with the cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Set aside to cool.

In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add in the squash. Gently toss together and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8 as main entrée.



Wine PairingWine Pairing

A Merlot or Pinot Noir would be a perfect match to the flavor profiles in this dish. Some personal favorites are Creekview Vineyards Santa Clara Valley Merlot, Benovia Winery Pinot Noir or Jack London Vineyards Merlot.