Butternut Squash and Sage Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs

This is the perfect Thanksgiving soup recipe that uses your AeroGarden herbs!

YIELD
Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

  1. Soup:
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cups chopped onions
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
    • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 5 to 6 cups Chicken Stock or 5 to 6 cups purchased organic chicken broth
  2. Breadcrumbs:
    • 2 crustless slices fresh whole grain wheat bread, torn
    • 4 teaspoons butter
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

PREPARATION

  1. For soup:
    1. Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, and sage; sauté until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash and coarse salt; sauté until squash softens and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add 5 cups stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is very soft, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
    2. Working in batches, puree soup in blender, allowing some texture to remain. Return soup to pot. Thin with stock, if desired. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
  2. For breadcrumbs:
    1. Place bread in processor; blend until fine crumbs form but some slightly coarser crumbs remain. Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sage. Cook until crumbs are crisp, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature.
    1. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Recipe from Epicurious

Herbed Stuffing

The beauty of stuffing is its adaptability. It can be almost endlessly enhanced. Use one of the variations below with your fresh AeroGarden herbs, or experiment to create your own specialty.

YIELD
Makes 8 servings—about 9 cups, or enough to fill a 12-pound turkey, with extra for baking alongside

INGREDIENTS

    • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
    • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
    • 6 stalks celery with leaves, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 1/2 cups)
    • 1 (14-ounce) package seasoned bread stuffing cubes
    • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon celery salt
    • 1 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
    • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 1/4 cups hot Homemade Turkey Stock or canned turkey stock, plus 1/2 cup more if baking all of stuffing outside of turkey
See how to dry your AeroGarden Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme here:

PREPARATION

    1. In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderate heat, heat butter until hot but not smoking. Stir in onion and celery, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. (Vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing: In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderately high heat, sauté, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes.)
    2. Transfer to large bowl and add stuffing cubes, parsley, celery salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups hot stock.
    3. If using to stuff turkey: Use immediately to fill cavities and spread remainder in baking dish as directed in recipe .
    4. If baking entire recipe as side dish: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter 3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and drizzle with 1/2 cup hot stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
  1. Variations:
    1. Sausage and Sage Stuffing: In large, heavy skillet over moderate heat, sauté 1 pound bulk pork sausage, breaking up pieces with spoon, until meat shows no sign of pink, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl. Proceed with recipe, adding ingredients to bowl with sausage and substituting 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage for dried rosemary and sage.
    2. Dried Apricot and Pecan Stuffing: Dried fruit are better than fresh in stuffing because the latter get soggy with long baking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans on rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool and coarsely chop. In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups diced dried apricots and hot water to cover. Soak until apricots plump, about 30 minutes, then drain well. Proceed with recipe, tossing apricots and pecans with other ingredients in large bowl.
Test-Kitchen Tips:
•Warm, moist stuffing is an optimal environment for bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli to multiply, so it’s important to follow safe procedures. Be sure to make the stuffing at the last minute so it can go into the bird warm. This helps it move above the “danger zone” (the optimal temperature range for bacteria growth) more quickly during roasting. Stuffing baked outside of the turkey can be spread in the baking dish and refrigerated for a few hours while the turkey roasts, but it should be made on the same day as baking.
•Stuffing baked outside of the turkey won’t be soaked in the turkey’s juices, so extra stock is drizzled on top to keep it moist.
Recipe from Epicurious