Posts Tagged ‘winter meals’

Growing up in drizzly northern California, I developed a list of cozy winter meals that will forever carry a seasonal connotation for me. Root vegetables like potatoes, beets, carrots, and yams come to mind, and there is a Brazilian-style black bean soup that fills an especially sacred page of my mental cookbook. Another food (actually a fruit) that never fails to hit the spot for me is squash.

Winter squash refers to over a dozen hard-skinned squash varieties (think pumpkins) that are harvested in the fall, but traditionally stored through the winter. It has been a staple at the Hillcrest market for the past few months, and there are few things that are as easy and satisfying to cook. My favorite variety has always been the delicata (hands-down the sweetest), which is great stuffed with bean and rice pilaf, or simply baked with butter. However, I have recently found myself with a surplus of butternut and acorn squash, and these two blend perfectly as a soup.

My recipe varies based on what’s in my fridge, but I usually go with something along the lines of Michelle Madden’s minimalist Squash Soup with Ginger and Cumin. The flourishes are up to you, but I recommend a few cloves of garlic and a generous pinch of garam masala for a savory boost.

Also, save your squash seeds! Lubricate with olive oil, spread out on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and roast in the oven at 150 degrees F until they start to brown (about 15 minutes). Yum.


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