3rd Honorable Mention – 2015 Recipe Contest

Chef Richie here, at your service!

Our second honorable mention prizewinner in our 2015 recipe contest is…drum roll please…home chef, Aurora Kenney! Congratulations Chef! You’ll receive a deluxe gift box of Bella Sun Luci products so you can get going on your recipe entry for next year’s contest. Keep up the good work!

Happy harvest, Halloween and everything autumn! This month’s recipe is perfect for this time of year, when the leaves are treating us to a fall color showcase, there’s a first chill in the air and comfort food begins to creep back into our psyches.

This butternut squash soup recipe is a wonderful and natural marriage of flavors and colors. I’ve been pairing butternut squash with sun dried tomatoes for decades and I suggest you start doing it as well.

This autumn soup is very versatile, adds a touch of elegance to any holiday event and is right up the alley of one of my two goals in life…make Martha Stewart jealous…and I’ll let you know how becoming an Italian grandma works out.

Plus, it’s simple, easy to shop for and make, super flavorful and healthy. In fact, in its original form, this recipe is gluten-free, vegan and calls for a total of one-tablespoon of olive oil as the only added fat.

I hope you’ll cook this recipe for your family at your holiday events. I am offering one possible adjustment to you readers, which is…Chef Richie Says…use chicken stock (or vegetable stock to keep it vegan) instead of water, for a richer, deeper flavor. Also, this soup sometimes turns out too thick, so be liberal with your use of water or stock, whichever you choose.

Sun Dried Tomato Squash Soup:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 1/2 c Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Halves
  • 2 cups water, plus enough to cover the bottom of the pan,  (or you can use chicken stock, or vegetable stock)
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley (to garnish, optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place cut side down in a baking dish filled with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake the squash for approximately 45 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pot. Sautee the garlic and onion for a few minutes, then add the white wine and cook until soft, about 5 more minutes. Add 2 cups of water and the sun dried tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

Scoop out the baked squash and add it to the pot. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches in an upright blender, adding additional water until it reaches the desired consistency. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Serves 4-6
Total time: ~1.5 hours

Congratulations chef Aurora! I’m looking forward to your 2016 Recipe Contest entry and…everybody else…Get cooking, happy cooking and buon appetito!

Chef Richie Hirshen

Corporate Chef

Mooney Farms and Bella Sun Luci

Chico, CA