Attending an autumnal potluck? Have a friend in need of some care? Fill a Ball® Quart Jar with butternut squash soup and take it to go!
This post is sponsored by the makers of Ball® home canning products.*
This time of year always awakens my urge to make a huge amount of food and gather people around a table. There’s just something about the cooler days of fall that makes me long for the coziness of a small (or not so small) party. Before kids and the pandemic, I was known among my friends and family for my willingness to host or be hosted, always with plenty of delicious things made for sharing.
The last couple of years have made most gatherings impossible, but the urge to cook and share still bubbles up within me as soon as the leaves turn and the air goes crisp. And so I’ve been channeling that energy into little edible care packages for my friends and neighbors. Most recently, I’ve been making batches of butternut squash soup with toasty seeds. I funnel the soup into Ball® Quart Jars and put the seeds in a tiny jar or baggie so they don’t lose their crunch.
With holiday gatherings of all stripes on the horizon, this would also be a great way to bring butternut squash soup to a collaborative meal. Whenever I bring soup to a gathering, I also pack up a pot for reheating as well as my collection of ramekins so that the host doesn’t have to worry about vessels (small coffee mugs or teacups also work perfectly for little servings of soup).
Let’s talk about those seeds for a second. The ones you see pictured here are the seeds I scooped from the center of the squash just before roasting. While the squash was in the oven, I picked off the stringy bits, gave them a rinse, and boiled them in salted water for 15 minutes (this helps flavor the seeds). Then I spread them on a plate to dry.
Once they were fully dry, I melted butter in a medium sized skillet, and added the seeds along with a little cinnamon and hot chili. Then I toasted them, stirring regularly, until the seeds began to pop. Finally, scooped the seeds out of the pan and let them drain on a paper towel. They are flavorful and add just the right amount of texture to the otherwise smooth soup.
I do think it’s important at this point to remind you that things like butternut squash soup aren’t safe for canning. I’m simply using these jars for storage and transportation. This soup is not shelf stable and there’s no safe way to can a soup like this, even with a pressure canner. The only way to safely pressure can pumpkin or squash is to do cubes packed in water. I wrote a blog post about how to do just that way back in 2010, if you’re interest in learning how to do it (I also have a recipe for soup using those cubes of canned pumpkin, if you want to know how I used it).
How are you using Ball® jars to share with your friends, family, and neighbors these days? And do you feel a similar urge to gather and feast this time of year?
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or other hot chili powder
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut butternut squash in half and remove seeds. Set squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet and add enough water to fully over the bottom of the pan. Place it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the squash is fork tender.
- Place the seeds in a small pot of salted water and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain them and set them on a plate to dry.
- Once the squash is tender, remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool until you can handle it without burning yourself. Scrape the squash away from the skin and reserve. You need approximately 6 cups of cooked squash for the soup.
- Place a soup pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat it until it shimmers. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onion begins to color. Add the squash and stock. Stir to combine.
- Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Remove the pot from the heat and puree smooth with an immersion blender.
- Add the lemon juice and taste. Add salt and more lemon juice, if necessary.
- To toast the seeds, place a medium skillet over high heat. Add the butter. Once it melts, add the seeds and stir to coat. Season with the cinnamon and Aleppo pepper and continue to stir the seeds until they begin to pop. Drain them on a paper lined plate.
- To serve, ladle the soup into small bowls (I like to use small ramekins or mugs for this soup). Top with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or creme fraiche, and a scattering of the freshly toasted seeds.
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Fresh Preserving Division of Newell Brands. They have provided jars, equipment and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.