Autumn on Vancouver Island offers more than just a picturesque landscape of fiery foliage—it brings a bountiful harvest ripe for the picking. Our island is dotted with roadside farm stands where you can stop to pick up fresh eggs, pungent garlic, crisp apples, and a kaleidoscope of other produce, each item a testament to the care and passion of our local farmers. This season, why not drive leisurely through the countryside and let these humble stands inspire your fall menu? With each purchase, you're not only enjoying the freshest flavours but also supporting the local agricultural community. Let's transform these seasonal gems into warm, comforting dishes that celebrate the essence of fall on Vancouver Island.
- large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- Fresh thyme
- A pinch of nutmeg
- Cream for garnishing (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Toss the butternut squash cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.
- In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
- Add the roasted squash to the pot along with the vegetable stock and fresh thyme.
- Simmer for 20 minutes to let the flavours meld.
- Blend the soup until smooth, either using an immersion blender or by carefully transferring to a stand blender.
- Return to the pot, add a pinch of nutmeg, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Serve hot, garnished with a swirl of cream and a sprig of thyme.
- This soup is a hug in a bowl, perfect for those brisk fall evenings. Butternut squash from local Vancouver Island farms is sweet, nutty, and roasts beautifully, making it the star of this autumnal classic.