The Over Achiever Veggie

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Growing your own fresh vegetables is very rewarding. However, sometimes we get over rewarded with a particular vegetable. I call this baby the “over achiever veggie.” This is a veggie that has over achieved way above any of its previous year’s plantings. So what do you do when you have an “over achiever veggie”? I get creative and start preparing that veggie in many different ways. I get very determined that my family and I are going to eat all of it – easier said than done, sometimes over achiever veggies are not always fully appreciated.

Every year I seem to have at least one over achiever. This year is no exception; butternut squash wins my “over achiever veggie” award. We have oodles of it, so guess what we have been eating? Squash! I have been pan frying, baking and stir frying it with other veggies. We probably have been eating it three to four times a week. Maybe a bit too much for my family; I am thinking I better come up with a new way to eat squash or I will be the only one eating it.

Over the weekend I had a little more time to be creative with my cooking, and I came up with a recipe for butternut squash soup. Squash soup, hmm, that does not sound too appealing, I am sure my family will run the other direction if I tell them, “dinners ready, time for squash soup.” I can just see them rolling their eyes and hear their father saying, “Let’s go out for dinner.”

Hmm, this is going to be a challenge; I thought I had better be creative in naming my new squash soup. I decided to call it Creamy Butternut Potato Soup. Everyone likes potatoes, right? And we all like creamy stuff. You may have noticed I left the word squash out of the soup title. I figured this way, my family will at least try my new soup, and I am sure with my keen cooking skills I can win them over.

I made the Creamy Butternut Potato Soup, and my family really truly enjoyed the soup; they thought it was very delicious, so unlike the fried or baked version of squash they had been eating. They could not believe they were eating butternut squash in such a delicious way. Scroll down for my recipe; it truly is a delicious thick, flavorful and creamy soup. I can’t wait to make it again, but maybe not three to four times a week.

Creamy Butternut Potato Soup

  • 3 cups butternut squash
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) chicken broth (I recommend low sodium), divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (about 3 medium sized)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrots (small pieces)
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (substitute 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • 4 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Croutons

Cut a medium-sized butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 F for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until tender. Hint: I pour a little water in the cavity of the squash to help it cook up tender.

Add cooked squash to food processor with 1 can chicken broth and blend until smooth. Add this mixture to large saucepan, add second can of broth and stir it all together with salt. Bring this mixture up to a high simmer, watching it closely so it does not burn, it can be pretty thick.

In separate sauce pan, add 2 tablespoons butter to large fry pan, and melt butter over medium heat. To melted butter, add potatoes, celery, onion, and carrots, and sauté veggies for 10 minutes at medium heat, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. Then, pour the cooked veggies into squash mixture and continue simmering for 20 minutes until all veggies are tender.

To the cooked mixture, add the sweet red pepper, parsley, white wine, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add half and half. and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, just until the soup warms back up. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and croutons or your favorite soup crackers.