2 Thanksgiving Side Dishes Recipes

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Cary, NC — With Thanksgiving just around the corner (next week!), we’ll be publishing three days of Thanksgiving recipes, courtesy of The Matthews House in Cary, that are twists on tradition. Today, we cover two recipes for side dishes – Harvest Butternut Squash Soup and Pomegranate Apple Kale Salad.

Recipe: Harvest Butternut Squash Soup

With the cold weather we are experiencing, wouldn’t it be nice to start off with a hearty soup? This soup will bring the taste of fall into your home and will be great as a light starter. Make the soup the night before so that all you need to do when guests arrive is heat it up and ladle it into bowls.


  • 5 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 2 ea Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 T Old Bay seasoning
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Salt for final finish


  1. Saute onions and apples in the butter until soft. Add squash, chicken stock, water and oldbay seasoning
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer
  3. When squash is soft, remove soup from heat and let cool to room temperature
  4. When soup is cooled, place in blender or food processor and puree
  5. Return soup to a pot and add heavy cream. Heat slowly until hot and salt or additional oldbay to taste. Bring to a low boil and serve.

Recipe: Pomegranate-Apple Kale Salad

My daughters love pomegranates, which are plentiful in area supermarkets starting in the late fall. I’m not sure if they will eat the kale, but I know that it is chock full of vitamins. This light salad is a good prelude to the heavy, starchy dishes that make up most Thanksgiving meals.


  • ½ cup pecans
  • 8 ounces kale (1 large bunch)
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 medium Fuji apple
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Toss pecans with olive oil and sea salt. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spread the pecans on a baking tray. Toast them until lightly golden and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes, tossing them once or twice to make sure they bake evenly. Remove the tray from the oven and set them aside to cool.
  2. Rinse the kale and sprinkle with sea salt and massage the leaves. Slice kale into ribbons (with or without stems).
  3. Transfer to a large salad bowl, and top with coarsely chopped pecans, sliced apple, and pomegranate seeds. Crumble the goat cheese over top.
  4. For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper. Pour over the salad, and toss until evenly coated.


The Thanksgiving Food Column was sponsored in part by The Matthews House of Cary. View their complete Thanksgiving menuPhoto by Rebecca Winzenried.