I have a confession, I LOVE Thanksgiving. I’m obsessed with fall foliage, pumpkins, and the magnificent warmth Thanksgiving brings with her. I love having our entire family at the table for that one time during the year when diets don’t count and annoying Aunt Susan can drink her face off while Uncle Bob rambles about politics.
I love Thanksgiving so much that in September I begin searching the internet for matching shirts for my husband and I. Thanksgiving fills my heart with love while stretching my pants to the max.
Lately I am observing a sad new trend on social media and instores. People are squeezing Thanksgiving between Halloween and Christmas.Thanksgiving is developing a case of middle child blues. Halloween has evolved into the oldest siblingwith all the big kid privileges and Christmas is behaving like the bratty youngestsibling. Let’s be honest, no one really expects Christmas to be anything butcute. This is leaving poor Thanksgiving feeling blue and confused. Even in thestores, the Thanksgiving aisle is sandwiched between chaos, if you find a paperturkey to display on your table you’re lucky.
Well, I’m here to tell you we need to make Thanksgiving great again.
I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for the past seven years and while I absolutely love Christmas there is no place in our home for that pesky little Elf until AFTER Thanksgiving. Having a birthday on December 1st has me fully aware at how exciting it is to have your tree up early. But I know Santa is not ready to make a grand appearance until he waves at the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving Day. I know this because my Mom told me so. Let’s leave jolly St. Nick alone until AFTER turkey day. Right now, he’s busy making a list and checking it twice.
I love cooking and what better occasion to flex my culinary muscles, without feeling the pressure of gift buying, decorating and wrapping than Thanksgiving?
Each year I try to add something new to my menu. This year I’m adding Cookie and Kate’s garlic roasted butternut squash soup to my menu. Cookie and Kate call it roasted butternut squash soup, but I am calling mine garlic roasted butternut squash soup because I’m adding way more garlic. Cookie and Kate did all the hard work with coming up with this incredible recipe.
This year when my guests walk into my home they will be greeted by the comforting aroma of butternut squash soup. The ingredients are simple, but the result is magnificent. All you need is butternut squash, olive oil, shallot, garlic, vegetable broth, maple syrup and nutmeg.
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil, more for drizzling
2 large shallot bulbs chopped
1 teaspoon salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
32 ounces of low sodium organic vegetable broth
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash on the inside (about 1 teaspoon each). Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper and minced garlic.
- Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes. Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Then use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into a bowl and discard the tough skin.
- Meanwhile in a large soup pot, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add the reserved butternut, maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Pour in vegetable broth.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes so the flavors have a chance to meld. Carefully use an immersion blender to blend the soup completely, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, to taste, and blend again. Taste and blend in more salt and pepper, if necessary.