Butternuts store very well so they are well worth growing in your garden if you like to put away food. We have some in our basement in a room that is not heated and they are in great shape after 6 months in storage! It’s time to empty the root cellar so here is a soup that makes good use of them as well as our stash of garlic.
1 butternut squash
3 stalks celery chopped
3 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup ghee or coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
2 tsp. ground cumin seed
pinch cayenne (optional)
your favorite salt to taste
black pepper, optional
Prepare vegetables. Wash the butternut and bake whole in a 350 degree F oven for about 1 hour until easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven, cut in half, and let cool while preparing other vegetables. For this recipe the leek tops are used to add flavor to the broth but they will later be removed because they are too fibrous. To prepare the leeks, cut off the roots of the leeks, and then cut off top two-thirds of the leaves. Wash them well but do not chop–set aside. Now wash the bottom third (the white part of the root) being sure to wash out any soil between the layers by cutting lengthwise and spreading out the layers under a stream of water in your sink. Now chop this bottom third of each leek.
Melt ghee or coconut oil in soup pot. Add the chopped leeks (not the tops), chopped celery, cayenne, and cumin and simmer over medium heat to soften for about 5 minutes giving an occasional stir. Add the crushed garlic, stir well and then add 4 cups of water. Put the leek tops in the soup pot folding them up if necessary to submerge them in the liquid. Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover with the lid cracked. Simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables are very tender.
While the vegetables simmer, scoop out the seeds from the butternut and discard. Scoop out the flesh (discard the skin) and place in a bowl. Set aside.
Now remove the leek leaves from the soup pot with a fork avoiding removing the other vegetables (be careful as they are hot–place in a strainer so that the broth on them drips through the strainer back into the soup pot). They have done their job flavoring the broth and can now be discarded. Next, use an immersion blender and puree the mixture in the soup pot. Add the butternut squash and puree again until smooth. Add the coconut milk stirring well. Warm through on medium low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.