Canning Butternut Squash in Soups and More

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What do you call a squash that’s smooth as butter and sweet as a nut? You guessed it…butternut. Don’t you love to-the-point names? I do! The butternut squash has a fairly unique history, and has become one of my favorite hybrids. I especially love canning butternut squash in soups and more delicious recipes.

The History of Butternut Squash

Butternut squash was developed by Charles Leggett, who was not a professional breeder, but had moved from the city to the countryside where he could now grow his own food. Presented with this new opportunity, he was looking to create a squash big enough for a family, but smaller than a Hubbard squash, which I’m sure you’ve seen in the variety pumpkin bins in the fall.

He set out on his journey crossing a gooseneck squash with other varieties until he reached what he felt was “THE” squash. He then loaded up and went to market, where others were skeptical at first but were soon hooked by its buttery orange and dense flesh.

Why were they so in love with it? Little did they know at the time but this squash is not only convenient in size to feed a family, but it provided an abundance of nutrients as well!  Butternut squash is a great source of vitamins A, C, fiber, and contain even more potassium than a banana. Did you know you can eat the seeds just like we do after carving our Halloween pumpkins?  Butternut squash seeds are an excellent source of protein. Roast them just as you would pumpkin seeds for a healthy snack.

Recipe for Canning Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is also incredibly easy to preserve making meal preparation super easy. Even if you have picky eaters at home, you can get a little sneaky by hiding pureed squash in your spaghetti sauces or adding it to soup in small chunks.  While butternut squash can last for months in dry storage, canning it will ensure enjoyment all year around until your next harvest! Here is a delicious way to enjoy canning butternut squash in soups and more.

Zesty Pork and Squash Stew

Makes approximately 6 quarts or 12 pints

Prep Time: 25 min / Cook Time: 30 min / Canner Time: 60 min / Processing Time: 90 min/75 min / Total Time: 205 min/190 min

Rehydrated California chili purée is the key ingredient to this flavorful stew. A well-balanced blend of squash and meat, this zesty stew is sure to please. Deep in color and packed full of protein and fiber, feel free to thicken by simmering with the lid off upon reheating and serve it with garlic mashed potatoes.

8 dried red California chiles, stems removed

4 cups boiling water

3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red onion, diced (1½ cups)

8 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon oregano

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 cups peeled and diced tomatoes

3 pounds kabocha or acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks (5 cups)

2½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (5 cups)

2 quarts Chicken Stock

2 cups water

  1. Placed dried California chilies in deep bowl and cover with the boiling water. Submerge chilies with a heavy bowl or cup. Let sit submerged for 15 minutes to fully rehydrate.
  2. In a thick-bottomed stockpot, starting with 1 tablespoon oil, brown pork in batches until all pork is lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes per batch. Remove each batch from stockpot and place in a bowl. Be sure not to cook the meat. Set aside.
  3. Strain the chiles, reserving ½ cup soaking liquid. Place rehydrated chilies in a food processor with the reserved liquid. Pulse on high to make a thick paste. Set aside.
  4. Add onions, garlic, coriander, salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes to stockpot with pork drippings. On medium heat, mix and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the browned pork, tomatoes, squash, stock, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then add chile purée and mix well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Ladle the hot stew into hot jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles and add additional stew if necessary to maintain the 1 inch of headspace.
  6. Wipe the rim of each jar with a warm washcloth dipped in distilled white vinegar. Place a lid and ring on each jar and hand tighten.
  7. Place the sealed jars in the pressure canner, lock the pressure canner lid, and bring to a boil on high heat. Let the canner vent for 10 minutes. Close the vent and continue heating to achieve 11 PSI for a dial gauge and 10 PSI for a weighted gauge. Process quart jars for 90 minutes and pint jars for 75 minutes.

Ingredient Tip: Cut squash in half, removing seeds and stringy fibers. Cut squash into long quarters. Working in batches, place quarters in microwave, flesh side down, and microwave on high for 5 minutes. When cool to touch, use a paring knife to easily peel the skin off squash.

For more soup and stew canning recipes be sure to pick up your copy of The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning on Amazon or Barnes & Noble today! Have a canning question? Do not hesitate to message me on Facebook.

Happy Canning Everyone~
Diane, The Canning Diva®





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