Autumn is here in full force with so many squash and pumpkin to choose. I know this because off to the pumpkin patch we went last weekend.
Andrews Farm Market and Winery has so many activities to enjoy. It's about a 1 hour trip from midtown Toronto. All the activities make it worth the trip. Andrews Farm has cute chickens running around all over the place, gigantic turkeys gobbling, alpacas, goats, corn mazes, and haunted walks. My granddaughter also enjoyed a playground full of activities like tetherball, swings made of tires, a real slippery metal slide, and hay climbing structures.
There's a $0.25 per handful feed machine to feed the animals. And so we did. We took a ride on the back of a tractor around the farm including the pumpkin patch. Apparently you need to register prior to coming. They just told us we could stay on the tractor. Yippeee!
One of my granddaughter's favourite areas was the raspberry bushes. She was a bit mischievous having us chase her up and down the rows of berries and flowers. She didn't want to leave!!!
The general store on the premises sells all kinds of goodies, including squash and pumpkins from the vast varieties of gourds grown there. The apples this year are juicy, crisp, and to die for in a good way. 😂
I purchased a number of squash, wine grapes, a huge bunch of kale, and some gorgeous cherry tomatoes. The bonbon squash, otherwise known as buttercup squash, was particularly lovely. So I bought 3 big ones. This squash bakes up velvety and sweet. Wonderful to make soup or just roast to eat.
To make my Autumn soup recipe, find a bonbon or buttercup squash. If you can't find one, a butternut squash works well too.
The Bonbon or buttercup squash is very flavourful with a tough skin when raw and may come with a big long thick stem. It can be dangerous to cut open if you don't have a proper knife or skills. My tip is to preheat the oven to around 400 degrees F. Bake the squash for about 10 to 15 minutes. When it is just getting soft to the touch, take it out and cut it into slices or chunks. If you want to eat the squash as a side, put it back into the oven; whole, wedges or chunks, to bake through until soft.
If you plan to make this soup, just cut it into chunks at the partially roasted stage. It's so delicious, that you may not have any left for the soup due to sampling. If you happen to have enough flesh, here's the recipe for you and your family to enjoy! 😆
Autumn Bonbon Squash Soup
Serves about 8 or more
1 large bonbon or buttercup squash (about 8 inches around the widest part), partially roasted and cut into bite sized chunks
1 peach, nectarine, pear, or apple (choose one for your tastes) - remove pit or core, medium dice
3 nice sized carrots, cut into bite sized chunks, medium dice
3 long stalks celery, cut into bite sized chunks, medium dice
1 tablespoon olive oil, we use organic extra virgin
1 large onion, the bigger the more flavour, diced
4 large cloves of garlic, the bigger the better, minced or chopped fine
1 heaping tablespoon rosemary, dried
1 heaping tablespoon thyme, dried
1 heaping tablespoon garlic powder, dried
2 tablespoons cinnamon, ground (Saigon Cinnamon is nice in this recipe).
Water, pour enough to cover two inches above the vegetables in the pot
Freshly ground Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Your Favourite hot sauce, optional
In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and dried spices.
Once the onion mixture is soft and aromatic, add the vegetables and fruit
Cover with water up to 2 inches above the vegetables
Add coarsely ground Himalayan Sea Salt (any salt is fine) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring mixture to a boil
Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.
Take a hand immersion blender (or other blender in batches) and blend just until starting to thicken, leave more than half the vegetables still chunky.
Taste for seasonings, add more if needed.
If you would like, garnish with hot sauce 🍝
Tip: If you want to serve this soup as a meal, then add about 1/2 cup beans, tofu, or another cooked protein to each person's bowl. Pour the hot soup. Enjoy with fresh bread or sandwich. YUM! 😋