butternut squash soup

2 New Comfort Foods to Try This Fall

When I was coming up with these recipes, my thoughts centered on seasonal fall cooking. Cooking and eating seasonally is an important philosophy for me and my family. By eating seasonally, you support a more sustainable food economy, and most importantly, it tastes better and is better for you.

In our household, there is a certain excitement for the fruits and vegetables that each season delivers. Besides the health benefits of eating what’s readily available, seasonal foods actually taste better. You’re supporting local farmers by eating food that has taken time to grow, cultivate and harvest. Seasonal foods are also better for the environment and cheaper for our pockets.As a breast cancer survivor, eating heathy and maintaining a heathy quality of life is important.

The recipes below include a quick bread that I make year-round. It works well with fresh tomatoes and corn in the summer and soup in the fall and winter. I love the tang of buttermilk in recipes.  It is high in vitamins, potassium and calcium and lower in fat than milk. I love it for its distinctive tang.

Ontario squash is all over grocery stores right now. We eat it weekly. There are many varieties available and the roasting method here works for all squash. The soup is made with butternut squash, one of the most popular squashes and readily available. This squash and ginger soup is soothing and slightly spicy from the ginger. Like garlic, the flavour of ginger mellows after it is cooked. Smita Chandra, an Indian chef, once shared with me that there is no need to peel your ginger, so only peel if you choose to. I don’t peel it after receiving those words of wisdom that I now pass onto you.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

Makes 8 to 10 cups

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Roasted Squash (recipe here) *Roasting the squash ahead enriches the squash flavour in the soup.*
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Minced parsley
  1. In a 6-quart pan, over medium-high heat, heat butter, onions, ginger and garlic. Cook, until onions are aromatic and softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add roasted butternut squash, stirring to coat. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash and other flavours are heated through and married together, about 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and using hand blender, blend until smooth. Use a blender too, if you wish. Don’t fill the blender more than half way, do in batches. When blending hot liquids, it can spurt out and burn!
  4. Blend until smooth. Return to pan and add cream. Stir over medium-high heat until hot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with minced parsley.

Quick Buttermilk, Cheese and Green Onion Bread

Makes one loaf

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  1. Grease or spray a 9X 5-inch pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium mixing bowl.  In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg and butter.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently fold in cheese, green onions and pepper. Stir until all the flour is incorporated. Scrape into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in 350 F oven, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and slicing.
  5. Can be frozen. Double wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
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Kate Dowhan

Kate Dowhan graduated with honours English from Huron College, at the University of Western Ontario. From there she attended and graduated with honours from the Stratford Chef School. She apprenticed and worked within several kitchens before working for magazines. She freelanced for Homemakers magazine, Chatelaine magazine and Food and Drink Magazine. She became a full time member of the Canadian Living Test Kitchen in 2001 and worked there for six years.

Kate started her consulting business in 2007, and has worked with many high-profile brands as a recipe developer and recipe editor. Kate has a passion for delicious, reliable recipes that has established her reputation as a go-to food expert.

Her easy-going style is reflected in her recipes that are both approachable for home-cooks and on-trend for the foodie at heart. As a breast cancer survivor (diagnosed in 2017) she is conscious of producing healthy, seasonal family pleasing recipes. She loves to cook for her three children, and husband.

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