/ by Sean O'Nan, MS, RD, LD
If you or a loved one are struggling to eat at mealtime, consuming smaller, frequent meals and snacks may be an easier option. While the holiday season can be filled with festive dishes, this year it may be helpful to consider easy meals that can be reheated for multiple servings. By cutting down on your portion size you may feel less overwhelmed by the amount of food you plan to eat while still participating at holiday gatherings.
Below is a recipe for a seasonal favorite that can be stored and portioned out whenever you choose. As always, remember appropriate cooking temperatures when reheating any of your holiday leftovers! And don’t forget to save those uneaten leftovers; some can be repurposed into soups and other dishes to help cut down on your monthly grocery bill.
- 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically* and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ½ cup chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot bulb)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 to 4 cups (24 to 32 ounces) vegetable broth, as needed
- 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees 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 ½ tsp each).
Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Turn the squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through, about 40 to 50 minutes (don’t worry if the skin or flesh browns—that’s good for flavor). Set the squash aside until it is cool enough to handle.
Next, add 1 tbsp oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. When oil has warmed add shallot and salt, stirring often. Add garlic and continue cooking until fragrant. After shallot mixture has cooked, add cooked butternut squash, all 4 cups of broth, maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. 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 your 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.
If soup is too thick, stir in the remaining cup of broth. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, to taste, and blend well.