Butternut Squash and Corn Soup
I am starting my Thanksgiving preparations with soups because they can be frozen and easily resurrected. I always make mushroom-barley soup plus another soup. Our neighbor showed up with some excess butternut squash from his garden, and I couldn’t help but pause my cleaning and start cooking. The result was this hearty fall soup, which tastes even better a day after making it, once the flavors have melded.
- 2 medium butternut squashes
- 1-2 medium purple or yellow onions
- 1 small head of garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups water or more if needed
- 2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
- 2-3 celery stalks, cut into chunks
- 3-5 dried figs, cut into pieces
- 2-4 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- Fresh black and red pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cumin or to taste
- 2 tablespoons za’atar or to taste
- 12-ounce bag frozen corn or kernels from 3-5 ears of fresh or frozen corn
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt (optional, for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray. Rub outside of butternut squash with a little olive oil and salt and place whole squash on baking sheet. Peel onions and cut into quarters, sprinkle with a little olive oil and salt and place on baking sheet. Remove the thin paper-like skin of the garlic bulb and slice the tip off the pointed edge of the bulb. Rub the outside of the garlic bulb with a little olive oil and salt and set it upright on the baking sheet with the cut edge up. Roast squash, onions and garlic on the baking sheet in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the edges of the garlic and onion are browned and the squash is slightly tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to be able to handle.
- Cut both squashes in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane and discard. Scoop out the other squash down to the outer skin and place squash flesh in a large pot with the water. Squeeze the insides of the roasted garlic into the pot with the squash and add roasted onions. Add carrots, celery, figs and spices. Cook over a low flame, adding water as needed, until all vegetables are tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and blend all the ingredients with an immersion blender until smooth or your desired consistency. Return the pot to the stove and continue cooking over a low flame. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Add more water if the soup is too thick. For more sweetness, add another fig or 2 or a drizzle of honey. Add the corn kernels and cook until heated through and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot. For a dairy meal, top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.