This was THE week. I mentioned a couple days ago how I had been on pins and needles waiting for the first fall squash to come out since I have been craving a change of season….and it is finally here! I’m not breaking out the sweaters or anything, after all it was 85 degrees today (although it felt more like 90!), but I can make this delicious cold weather soup for dinner tonight!
Not only is this soup delicious, creamy, and comforting, but it is also unbelievably good for you! Butternut squash is rich in vitamins and very low in calories (two bowls are well within reason for one sitting). Of course you can buy butternut squash soup from the grocery store and warm it on the stove, but I have to warn you that you are short-changing yourself! The soup from the grocery store reminds me of pureed jars of baby food rather than a thick and luscious soup. For minimal effort and ingredients you can have a much healthier and more delicious meal by making it yourself.
Below is my vegetarian version, but feel free to substitute the vegetable broth with chicken broth if you have that in your pantry. My guess is that you will have almost all of the ingredients lying around already. This would be a great make-ahead meal for a busy week. Prepare the soup on the weekend when you have more time to devote to the kitchen, and put it in the refrigerator to cool. Since this soup makes a large amount (I cook the whole batch for just my husband and I) it is great to pack in weekday lunches, or for a quick re-heat for dinner. Add a sandwich or a salad and I can be one happy lady!
* For tips on how to peel and cut a butternut squash, keep reading! *
- 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
- Sprinkle red pepper flakes
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 1 quart reduced sodium vegetable broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the butter or olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot on the stove. Once heated, add the onions and cook until translucent 5-10 minutes (your house will be smelling amazing already, I promise). Add garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Add butternut squash and vegetable broth; bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. You want the liquid to just cover the squash; you can add water at this point, if needed. Simmer the mixture for 25-30 minutes until the squash is easily pierced with a fork (similar to boiling potatoes to mash).
Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. This is your opportunity to leave the soup as smooth or as chunky as you would like. You could also use a food processor or a blender for this, your choice! Once pureed to the desired consistency taste for salt and pepper, then serve! Enjoy!
Tips for Cutting a Butternut Squash
Cut off the top and bottom of the squash with a sharp knife. The top half of the squash is usually straight and then begins to curve at the bottom where the seeds are located. Cut the straight part of the squash away from the curved portion. Use a vegetable peeler or a knife to remove the outer skin. This can be dangerous if you go too fast; patience is needed! Cut the two portions of the butternut squash in half so it looks like a half moon shape. Remove the seeds with a spoon and discard (or roast as you would pumpkin seeds). Cut into 1-2 inch sections for soup, or smaller if you would like to roast in the oven as a side dish.