Day 9 of Advent: Feeding the Soul and Body

During Advent, I like to serve comfort food. While the Miso in this recipe is optional, if you do use, you’ll find it adds a wonderful, rather mysterious, taste to this dish. It’s an umami sort of mystery. Try it. I bought my Miso from Amazon.

Butternut Squash Mash


1 tablespoon canola or olive oil or coconut oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

One butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into pieces*

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

3 to 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Miso (optional)

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


  • Melt the oil with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot (if you have one, use ceramic).
  • Add the squash and simmer for 5 minutes or so, until the squash just barely begins to brown.
  • Now add the garlic and sage and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water.
  • Cover the pan and let the squash steam in the water for about 20 minutes.
  • Check after 10 minutes and add more water if it seems dry.
  • Now put the squash and liquid into a food processor or Vitamix with the rest of the butter. Add the optional Miso (highly recommended) and process until smooth and airy.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings. Ad more butter or cream if you want it thinner.

Another “mash” that I’ve also served with holiday roasts is the following:

Broccoli Mash


3 large broccoli crowns, cut into small florets

1 large , 1 medium russet potato, cut into 1 or 2 inch dice

2 Tb butter

2 Tsp dried thyme

¼ cup heavy cream (optional)

Salt & pepper, to taste


  • Peel the potatoes, cut them into  1 or 2 inch chunks and add them to a large pot of boiling water. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and boil until very soft, 10 to 12 minutes
  • Roughly chop the the broccoli crowns into small florets. Place in a steamer over a pot of simmering water and steam covered for 10 to 12 minutes until broccoli is soft and well done. The color is likely to be an unattractive green.
  • When the potatoes and broccoli are done, place in a Vita mix or food processor. Add the butter and cream and puree until thoroughly mixed and there are no chunks or particles remaining.
  • Serves 4-6

Joyce West

Published by marciedoll

I have enjoyed working for over 20 years in the education and publishing spaces creating accessible learning environments for all students. My teaching experiences led me into supporting schools in need of improvement and creating and delivering professional development to teachers and leaders. And then I moved into selling educational materials, programs, technology, and services. Most recently, I have been developing content for innovative learning programs in K-12 and museum spaces. For the past 17 years serving on the board of the Collegiate Corporation, I have led initiatives in women's leadership, stewardship, development, virtual strategy, and educational programs for youth and families. Outside of the learning and non-profit spaces, I enjoy blogging about faith and inspiring women. I have a passion for travel, where you might find me exploring national parks, museums, and finding the best local restaurant to eat. I capture my adventures digitally with my camera. My photography has appeared in exhibitions throughout Europe and Australia in 2019 and 2020, on television in the United States, and was chosen from over 100,000 entries to appear in a well-known photography magazine.

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