Butternut Squash Soup

IMG_6468This is such a delicious soup.  It’s a perfect soup for a chilly day…or any day!  I love soup; I could probably have soup for dinner every night, but some times preparing a soup is very involved.  This one’s easy!  Very convenient to make upon your return home from a long day at work.  What I recommend in that case, is to peel and cube the butternut squash the night before or the morning that you’re planning on making it; keep it in the fridge in a covered container until you get ready to cook it.

To peel and cube the squash, follow the instruction I included in my recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash.  Oh, and if  you have left over roasted butternut squash, and it’s a good amount, you can use it to make yourself a little soup for a quick lunch!  I’ll list the instructions at the bottom of this recipe.


Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, about 3 pounds or so (pick one with a wide neck)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium sized shallot
  • 4 small garlic cloves
  • 1 small red or white potato, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and quartered (the peel can stay on)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut in pieces about 2″
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or diced
  • 1 sprig of fresh sage
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (or more) coconut milk-unsweetned
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Fresh lemon juice drizzle (optional)
  • Sour cream dollop (optional)
  • Croutons (optional)
  • Finely chopped pecans or pumpkin seeds & panko bread crumbs for topping (optional)

    Instructions:

  1. Wash, peel and cut your squash.  Set it aside.
  2. Add the carrot, potato, apple, onion, shallot, and garlic along with the the stock to a 4-6 quart pot.
  3. Add the cubed squash.  Add the sage, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Bring it to a boil.  Lower the heat to low and cover.  Simmer for about 30 — 40 minutes, stirring a few times in between.  When you can pierce the vegetable pieces easily with a fork, prepare to blend.  If you have an immersion blender, use it to puree the soup.  At this time you may remove the potato or leave it in.  I usually leave it in, it gives the soup a good consistency without comprising the flavor.   If you do not have an immersion blender, add all the ingredients to the jar of the blender, cover and gently pulse the hot soup so it is pureed.  When pureeing hot liquid in a blender, it is a good idea to puree it in 2-3 batches to avoid the hot liquid from bursting out of the blender.  I have a large bowl ready, one suitable to hold liquid, by the blender to keep the soup as I puree it before adding back to the pot. Using a slotted spoon, I add the chunky pieces first to the blender, using the ladle I add a small amount of liquid, and I continue to puree and add liquid a little at a time; sometimes you do not need all the liquid in the pot…it depends on how thick or watery you like your soup. If you have extra broth in the pot, strain it into a bowl or measuring cup for now.
  4. Once all the squash and vegetables are pureed, add it back to the pot and mix in the coconut  milk. At this point if you feel your soup is too thick, add some of the extra broth you reserved.  Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as desired.  I always like to add salt a little at a time as well.   Simmer for about an additional 10 minutes on low heat. While your soup is simmering, you can prepare whatever toppings you like.
  5. Once you pour the soup into the serving bowls, squeeze a little lemon juice over the top of each one.  Garnish with the toppings you prepared.  If you’re trying the breadcrumbs and nuts or seeds topping:  finely chopped pecans or pumpkin seeds, mix them with about 1/4 cup panko add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.  You can toast the mixture up in a non stick skillet while your soup is simmering, or if you have a toaster oven, place the mixture on small pan lined with a piece of parchment paper and toast lightly.  Simply sprinkle this mixture on the surface of the soup after it’s served.


    Notes:

Lots of grocery stores sell pre-cut butternut squash, so you can use that to make a quick soup also!  When I’m making a pot of soup, I prefer to pick the squash myself, but when I’m in a rush, I’ve reached for the pre-cut. Make sure you pick a larger container, you’ll need about 3 cups.

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