Butternut squash is one of the most incredible autumnal ingredients we could find to put into our New England Butternut Squash soup. This bright orange fruit (it is technically a fruit) is packed full of carotenoids, which can help to protect you from heart disease; beta-carotene is a fantastic nutrient that your body converts into Vitamin A; it is low fat but packed full of dietary fibre; and one cup is enough to get nearly half of your recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C.
Without one man, we wouldn't have been able to pack our New England Butternut Squash soup with so much amazing goodness. And here is that man...
Once there was an insurance officer named Charles Leggett.
In the late 1930’s he decided to move to Stow, Massachusetts in order to spend time with his father. There he bought a house in the country that had over 90 acres of land.
Charles had never been a farmer before, but when he was faced with either leaving the land to sit there unused or learn how to tend it, he rolled up his sleeves and got stuck into it in the hopes that he could grow a few crops and earn a modest amount of money.
He thought about starting to grow corn, but everyone else was already doing it, so he decided to look around and find something else to grow. Eventually, he settled on squash, but he realised that the various varieties of squash each came with a variety of problems.
There was the gooseneck squash which, as the name implies, is an odd shape and this made it difficult for people to transport them to market. The hubbard squash was too hard to prepare as the skin and flesh was tough and they were fairly large.
With a lot of trial and error, sometime in the mid-1940s Charles had enough seeds for what would later become the butternut squash. With these he set about growing them as much as possible so that he could take them into town by the cartload. He would give them to friends as gifts, take them into restaurants for them to try out and all he asked in return was that they give back the seeds so that he could continue to grow them.
This new squash eventually caught the eye of the local Waltham Field Station, an agricultural science center. They were intrigued by it and they asked what it was.
All Charles could think was that this squash was
“Smooth as butter and sweet as a nut”
Without Charles’ tireless effort to create something new and his succinct description of what he had created, we wouldn’t have the inspiration for our New England Butternut Squash SkinnyLicious soup.
So thank you, Charles Leggett, for helping to make our butternut squash soup possi