Saturday, November 03, 2007

Butternuts in autumn

Autumn means soup to me. Especially butternut soup. Do you get butternut squash in the States? I have no idea. I remember when we arrived here to live in 1990, butternuts were nowhere in sight. Now you can get them everywhere. In South Africa, they were the first savoury food you gave a baby. Butternut and gem squash. Just divine.

So when I saw them in one of the local shops shortly after I arrived, I was beyond happy. But after a few weeks, they stopped getting them in, so I went to have a little "chat" with the fresh produce manager, who informed me that no-one ever bought them. Now, as I had singlehandedly being popping his entire stock into my trolley every week and making soup for all and sundry and converting them to butternuts forever, I disagreed. So we came to a compromise. He would order a box and I would guarantee to buy the whole thing.

A week later, he called to tell me they were in, so off I went to collect them. What happened next was hysterical. I heaved the box into my trolley and headed for the checkout. Should have been simple? Hah! By the time I got halfway there, I had a horde of women around my trolley asking where I had got them, why there were none out and why I had them ALL, so I looked at them, and said....follow me, ladies, and headed off to find the fresh produce manager. He saw us coming and nearly passed out. No-one buys your butternuts? I think not, Mr Fresh Produce Man. I helpfully offered to share my box, on the condition that they went back on the regular supply list. Victory!!

And now they are a staple for everyone. They grow here too. And you can buy them in virtually any food shop in the land. The fact that Jamie Oliver started using them in his TV shows and recipe books, as did all the other celebrity chefs also helped! I love butternuts. I think I might have mentioned that.
Let me know if you want the recipe for the soup. It is wonderful. It is also simmering on my hob as I speak.


Angie said...

I love butternut! I had never had it until we moved to S.A.. Roasted butternut,onions and sweet potatoes are also divine. I even bake them, put puree them then use them in place of pumpkin for American pumpkin pie.

His Singer said...

Of course, we MUST have the recipe, please!

And here in the States we not only have butternut, but acorn, name it, I think we have it.

Let me know what you need and I'll ship it to you. (wink)

Debbie said...

I'd love the recipe. Would you please send it to daphy1717 at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Morning Glory said...

I love this story. That produce manager should give you a box of them free after you generated more business for him.

Dawn said...

That is a great story. I had my first butternut baked last Sunday for dinner. I usually get acorn for some reason. I'm not a big fan of squash, but I did find it to have a nice flavor. I'm not so sure about soup, but would be willing to try it with the second one - they were given to me by a friend who grew an abundance.

I'm typing this on my new laptop, and enjoying playing with it very much at the expense of everything that must be done today. I did get some apple bread baked, though, and think I'll give a loaf to the young man who got me all set up on this new toy.

Have a lovely Sunday!

At A Hen's Pace said...

I grew up eating butternut, and never really cared for it. I remember sitting and staring at the last couple spoonfuls of it on my plate after everyone else had left the table.

As an adult, I discovered acorn squash, which I and all but one of my kids just LOVE. Just last weekend I asked my dad why we never grew it. He said they did a couple of times, but he and mom preferred butternut!

So glad you can enjoy it!


Susie said...

I've never tried butternut soup, but have had pumpkin which may be similar.
Loved your story about the produce manager!

meggie said...

Linds, I uttery ADORE butternuts. They are readily available in NZ & also in OZ! Divine, & roasted is a favourite way to serve, but soup is also divine!!

Barbara said...

Yes, the recipe please.
I think they ate them in the States before most of us over here had even heard of them.

Isabelle said...

Hmm... not a great fan of squashes of any variety (which indeed weren't available here until relatively recently) but we are great soup eaters in Scotland. Maybe I'll try a bit of squash in other soup and gradually wean myself on to it.

Crystal said...

I grew Hubbards and Spaghetti Squash in my garden this summer. The Hubbards ones got huge! Our girls love to use all kinds of them in cooking. I love your story about women rushing you at the store - great picture in my mind of that!!