3 Ways to use butternut squash

Fall is finally here, which means it's time for cosy sweaters, evenings spent under blankets with a nice hot cup of tea, colorful leaves everywhere, Halloween and of course pumpkin spice everything.
Fall is also the season for pumpkins and squashes. I love cooking with these wonderful vegetables but one thing that I find sort of annoying is that you always have to use an entire pumpkin (or freeze the leftovers, that works as well). Now, I cook for one most of the time, so I never need an entire pumpkin for just one recipe, which means I'm always stuck with a lot of leftover pumpkin. That's why I came up with a few recipes (2 of which are vegan), all of which use butternut squash, so that I can use up my butternut squash in one go and don't have to freeze it.

Butternut squash and tomato soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 750gr of butternut squash (diced)
  • 5 tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp of oregano
  • 3 vegetable stock cubes
  • 1,5 l of water
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • (Himalayan) salt and pepper


How to make:

  1. Put a large pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the minced garlic and fry for another minute.
  3. Add the butternut squash to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes, this helps release the juices from the tomatoes.
  4. Add the water, stock cubes, tomato paste and oregano. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and leave to simmer for at least a half an hour. Make sure to stir occasionally.
  5. After half an hour, your veggies should be soft and easy to blend up with a handblender.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted butternut squash and tomato mac 'n cheese

Ingredients:

  • 250g of wholegrain macaroni
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 250g of butternut squash (diced)
  • 20 ripe vine cherry tomatoes (halved) (about 2 vines)
  • 1 tbsp of dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 125ml of almond milk
  • 1 tsp of mustard
  • 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • Juice of half a lemon

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Put the diced butternut squash and the halved cherry tomatoes on a baking tray. Drizzle with 2tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with the dried thyme and a pinch of pepper and salt. Stir to make sure everything is coated in the olive oil and the herbs. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until the squash is soft.
    Make sure your butternut squash cubes are small enough (about 1cm x 1cm), otherwise your tomatoes will be ready before your butternut.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the macaroni according to the packet's instructions. Drain the macaroni and rinse with cold water (this way your pasta won't start sticking together). Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and a little pinch of salt and fry for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Set aside.
  5. In a blender, mix together the roasted butternut squash, tomatoes (leave a few to the side for decoration), fried onion and garlic, soaked cashews, thyme, mustard, nutmeg, lemon juice and almond milk. 
  6. Pour your juice back into the pot and mix in your cooked macaroni. Heat for a few minutes.
  7. Serve topped with the leftover roasted tomatoes.

Sticky autumn cake

Ingredients

  • 1kg of butternut squash (diced)
  • 2tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 160g of raisins
  • 3tbsp of orange juice
  • 200g of granulated sugar
  • 170g of butter (melted)
  • 70g of ground almonds
  • 15g of desiccated coconut
  • 50g of stem ginger
  • 3 eggs (separated into whites and yolks)
  • 85g of plain flour
  • 2tsp of baking powder
  • 1tsp of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

How to make:

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C. Prepare a baking tray with a loose bottom (about 20cm in diameter). Grease the tin with butter, line with baking paper, and grease the lined bottom again.
  2. Put the diced butternut squash on a baking tray. Drizzle with the rapeseed oil. Stir with a spoon to make sure that every piece of squash is coated in oil. Roast the butternut squash for about 45 minutes. Mash up with a potato masher until you get a smooth pumpkin puree. Leave to cool.
  3. In the meantime, soak the raisins in the orange juice for at least 20minutes. Drain the raisins and set aside.
  4. Turn the oven down to 170°C.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree with the granulated sugar, melted butter, ground almonds, desiccated coconut and the ginger. Mix in the egg yolks, one by one.
  6. Sift in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. It's very important that you sift these ingredients, this way you won't get any airpockets in your cake. Stir to combine.
  7. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Carefully stir the egg whites in to the pumpkin mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture into the baking tray.
  9. Bake your cake in the oven for about an hour, or until a skewer comes out completely clean.
  10. Leave to cool in the baking tray. 
  11. Remove from the baking tray and serve. You can sprinkle your cake with icing sugar if you like.