Cheap Recipe: Harvest Squash Chowder

8 Sep

For a printable version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

This yummy soup eats like a meal.

This yummy soup eats like a meal.

It’s that time of year again, and squash is turning into one of the most economical meal choices for the season.

Whether you’re a long-time squash addict like me or a first-time experimenter, this chunky chowder is sure to win you over without battling your pocketbook.

Begin by chopping a butternut squash into smallish chunks (about 3/4 inches in size). If you’re not an experienced butternut-carver, I heartily recommend watching this

Just one squash...

Just one squash...

 video by Roni over at GreenLiteBites (my favorite cooking site) on how to cut a butternut squash to get the biggest yield. I cut mine like hers and yielded an amazing NINE CUPS of chopped

...gave me a month's worth of squash!

...gave me a month's worth of choppings!

squash out of one medium/large squash. It can be done!

(I used about 3 cups chopped squash for this recipe and bagged up the rest to freeze for later meals!)

Actually, as a side note, if you’re like me, chopping onions and other vegetables is an easy way to talk yourself out of a home-cooked meal more often that not. So what I’ve been doing this past year is designating one Saturday or Sunday afternoon a month to go stock up on sale produce, chop it all up at once (blanching if necessary), and packaging it in little single-use ziploc bags in my freezer.

These little beauties were calling to me at the store.

These little beauties were calling to me at the store.

 That way, a 45-minute meal is slimmed down quite a bit on weeknights when I’m not feeling so zealous, and we still get a home-cooked dinner!

Getting back to the recipe, though, you’ll set aside the chopped squash and core and peel two green apples (I used Granny Smith). Chop the two apples into pieces about the same size as the squash. Add them to the squash and keep aside.

Onions, green peppers and corn make a flavorful base for this soup.

Onions, green peppers and corn make a flavorful base for this soup.

Next, dice 1 sweet onion and 1 green bell pepper into small pieces. Preheat a large soup pot to medium heat with a dollop of butter in the bottom. Throw in the onion and green pepper pieces, saute for a couple of minutes (not too long). Add in a couple handfuls (about 1 cup) frozen corn niblets.

Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon marjoram flakes over the simmering onion mixture and stir.

Simmer uncovered to concentrate the flavor as water evaporates out.

Simmer uncovered to concentrate the flavor as water evaporates out.

Pour 2 large boxes (or 4-14 oz. cans) chicken broth into mixture and increase heat to medium-high. Stir in squash and apple chunks. Add 1 teaspoon ginger and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg; stir. Simmer uncovered for 30-45 minutes or until squash is softened and liquid is reduced.

Mmm. This tastes like autumn in a bowl. Deee-lish! (And no, its not really sweet. Don't let the ingredients fool you.)

Mmm. This tastes like autumn in a bowl. Deee-lish! (And no, the soup isn't actually sweet, exactly. Don't let the ingredients fool you. It's more of a rich, buttery sort of taste. Just try it and see!)

About five minutes before serving, turn off the burner heat and stir in a small handful (about 2-3 tablespoons) of brown sugar.

Ladle into bowls and serve with warm bread and apple butter. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

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