From Lisa Barnes
Both my son and daughter enjoyed their first taste of food in the autumn – so there was an abundance of squashes and rich sweet potatoes available as first foods. I was reminded of these first tastes when I bought a butternut squash at the store today. I love being witness to the first time a child tries a new food. It seems so strange that the baby has no reference for the flavor or texture. I like the anticipation of the child’s reaction to the new food. Their faces show everything from “wow, mom this is awesome” (and grabbing the spoon for more) to “what are you crazy with this?” (and spitting it back down their chin).
Here’s a recipe for a baby puree that is the key ingredient in the soup recipe for the rest of the family. Make a double batch and everyone can enjoy.
1 ¼ pound organic butternut squash, about 3 cups
Oven Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut squash into quarters; remove seeds and place cut side down in a baking pan. Pour ¼ cup water in bottom of pan. Bake squash until fork tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop out flesh.
Puree the squash in a food processor after cooking, until you’ve reached the desired consistency. You may want to add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, breast milk or formula to thin.
Microwave directions: Cut squash in quarters (this may be difficult, depending on size) and scoop out seeds. Place squash, skin side down, in a microwave-safe dish. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and cover tightly, allowing one corner to vent. Microwave on High for 10 to 12 minutes. Check for doneness, cool and proceed with recipe above.
For older babies, cut flesh into chunks that he can pick up and eat himself.
3 cups organic butternut squash puree (see above)
1 medium organic onion, chopped, about ½ cup
½ cup peeled and chopped organic carrots
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1 cup organic milk
grated nutmeg for garnish (optional)
In a medium pot, sauté onion and carrots in olive oil for about 5 minutes or until onions turn golden. Turn down heat to medium-low. Add squash and broth. Cover pot and cook for 20 minutes.
Puree small quantities of soup in a blender or food processor. Be careful as mixture will be hot. Return soup to pot, and add milk. Stir and reheat. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with nutmeg.
Makes about 6 cups of soup.
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
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