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Help customers take advantage of seasonal squash

Retailers often want to educate customers on how to use an unfamiliar ingredient or a seasonal fruit or vegetable. Squash is plentiful right now, and yesterday I craved soup to warm me up on a cold day. My usual squash-apple soup is always a hit, but I was looking for an adventure. My friend tipped me off to some innovations she learned from her mom, who instinctively added peanut butter (for richness) and roasted red peppers (for a sweet-spicy kick) to her own squash soup. I built on the idea with the following recipe. Print it and post it by your squash bin for customers to take away and enjoy. Nutty Squash Soup 1 medium butternut squash (cut in half and seeded; save seeds) 1 onion (chopped) 1 red pepper (sliced) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 3 cloves garlic (unpeeled) 1 tablespoon peanut butter 2-3 cups vegetable stock Curry powder, to taste 1 tablespoon flour 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Place squash face down in a baking dish filled with enough water to cover the lower 1/4 of the squash. Roast for about 45 minutes, until tender. 3. Meanwhile, coat onion and red pepper with oil and place in a baking dish. With about 15 minutes left for cooking the squash, put onion-red pepper mix in the oven. 4. With about 8-10 minutes remaining, add unpeeled garlic to the onion-red pepper mix. 5. While the ingredients cook in the oven, warm the vegetable stock in a soup pot on the stove. 6. Remove all ingredients from the oven and let cool slightly. Do not turn off the oven. 7. Peel squash and garlic and put all the ingredients (squash, garlic, red pepper, onion) in a food processor. Add peanut butter and curry powder (to taste). Process until a thick mixture forms. 8. Add mixture to broth in soup pot and stir to blend. The soup will be on the thin side. Add flour and stir well. Warm and let thicken. 9. While the soup simmers, toast squash seeds tossed with a little vegetable oil in the oven. Remove and cool slightly. 10. Stir soup well before serving. Top a warm bowl with roasted seeds and enjoy.

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