Butternut squash is plentiful in the markets now.
Cutting one up takes a few minutes, but I still like to buy the squash whole because it is freshest that way.
If buying pre-cut squash, be sure to inspect them closely for freshness. Cut squash will keep a few days in an airtight container, but after that it starts to deteriorate. That’s another reason I like the whole squash — they keep a long time, even at room temperature, thanks to that hard skin.
I sometimes roast the squash and eat it as a hot side dish, or toss some in a salad. But my most common use is a pureed soup. The accompanying recipe is an all-purpose one that I vary just slightly each time to change up the flavors.
Thyme is my go-to herb for this soup, but sometimes I substitute cumin, smoked paprika or both. Fresh ginger is another favorite variation. And curry powder works great, too.
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The squash also plays nicely with Cajun and Southwestern ingredients.
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