Butternut Squash Soup and White Sage Bread
I recently attended the Mountain West Seed Summit, a gathering of gardeners, farmers, seed savers, and many others working to expand seed saving, healthful growing practices, and healthful eating. Among the participants were Roxanne Swentzell, sculptor and permaculturist, and Lois Ellen Frank, PhD., chef and anthropologist. Both women actively study and promote the food traditions of indigenous people of the southwest, and each has published a cookbook based on their ancestral foodways.
The butternut squash soup comes from Swentzell and Patricia M. Perea’s The Pueblo Food Experience Cookbook: Whole Foods of Our Ancestors. The white sage bread comes from Frank’s Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations.
For the soup, butternut and other winter squash remain plentiful in the Farmers’ Market, and turkey stock or chicken stock are usually available from Pollo Real. I like including garlic and a bit of roasted green chile or red chile powder in my squash soups.
For the bread, white sage can be foraged or substituted with culinary sage available in herbal and grocery stores. Roasted pinons are available in the Farmers’ Market. Old Windmill Dairy usually offers fresh butter.
Something green nicely complements the soup and bread – sautéed mixed greens or a salad of mixed lettuces.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 butternut squash
- 3 cups turkey broth
- Salt (to taste)
- Cut squash into halves or quarters. Clean seeds out of squash. Place in a baking dish with about 1 inch of water. Bake squash at 375 degrees for 1 hour.
- When squash is soft, place it in a blender. Add turkey broth until it covers the pieces of squash in the blender. Blend thoroughly.
- Pour the mixture into a stockpot and simmer for 1 hour. When it is done, add salt as needed.
White Sage Bread
White sage (Artemisia tridentate), which grows wild throughout parts of Arizona and in northern New Mexico, is an aromatic herb used in a variety of dishes. If you can’t find white sage, substitute culinary sage. This bread freezes well, so I suggest making several loaves.
Yield: 2 round loaves.
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 (¼ ounce) package active dry yeast
- ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Crushed roasted pinons or coarse salt (optional)
- In a bowl, combine the flour, sage, salt and baking soda.
- Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water.
- In a food processor, blend the egg and cottage cheeses until smooth; add 1 tablespoon of the butter and all of the yeast water, mix again, and transfer to a large bowl.
- Gradually add the flour mixture, kneading vigorously after each addition, until a stiff dough is formed. Cover with a dry cloth, and let rest in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and knead it on a lightly floured surface for about 4 minutes. Divide the dough in half and shape each part into a ball. Place the dough balls on a breasted baking sheet, cover with a dry cloth, and let rise for 15 minutes more.
- Preheat the often to 350 degrees.
- Bake the bread for about 40 minutes, until it is well rise, golden, and hollow sounding when tapped. Brush the top with the remaining butter and sprinkle with crushed roasted pinons or coarse salt, if desired.
This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!