I dearly love my daughter-in-law, Hillary. She has many, many, fine qualities and has been a wonderful addition to our family. I say this with all sincerity and not just because when she joined our family she took on the job of preparing and hosting Thanksgiving Dinner.
In all seriousness, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. The food is completely in my wheelhouse and the part about not exchanging a present pushes the holiday to the top of my favorite’s list.
When Hillary prepares Thanksgiving Dinner she starts with the most delicious butternut squash soup that she has adapted from the Moosewood Kitchen. Dom doesn’t just like this soup, he adores it. He eats so much of it that he rarely makes it to the dessert course. He also makes sure that he takes home a generous container of the soup for the weekend.
If you have time to add this to your Thanksgiving menu, it will really be worth the effort. It has a slightly spicy taste that sets it apart from the usual sweet Butternut Squash soup recipe.
HILLARY’S BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
- 2 medium-sized acorn or butternut squash (about 4 pounds)
- A little oil for the baking tray.
- 3 1/2 cups orange juice
- 2 tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 cup minced onion
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- Cayenne to taste
- Fresh lemon juice to taste
- Melt the butter or heat the oil in a skillet, and add the onion, ginger, salt, and spices. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is very soft (about 8 minutes). Add a few tablespoons of water, if necessary to prevent the spices from sticking.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Split the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and place face-down on a lightly oiled baking tray. Bake until very soft (30 to 40 minutes). Cool, then scoop out the insides.
- Add the sauté to the squash mixture, scraping the skillet well to salvage all the little tidbits of flavor. Add cayenne and lemon juice to taste. Measure out 3 cups of squash, place it in a food processor or blender with 1 1/2 cups of the orange juice, and purée until smooth. (You may need to do this in batches.) Transfer to a soup pot, and stir in the remaining orange juice.
- Serve topped with pepitas and a dollop of yogurt if desired.
Thank you Hillary for making this a Laganella family tradition.