The Best Butternut Squash Soup!

Butternut squash soup just feels cozy. Often, on cozy and comfy evenings, I don’t feel like putting together an elaborate meal, but I still want something delicious and nutritious. This recipe has both; it’s easy and packed full of nutrients!

* bonus: If you leave off the cheese this soup is also vegan.



Nutrition Benefits of Butternut Squash


Butternut squash is a starchy, high-fiber vegetable. It’s a winter squash, and although it’s usually available year-round, is best in the fall and winter. Butternut squash is high in potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and has even more vitamin A than carrots. You can easily swap out pumpkin for butternut squash in recipes.


Tips for this Recipe


A few tools are very useful to make sure your butternut squash soup turns out perfectly!

· Use a large pan. It’s a pretty hefty recipe and you don’t really want ingredients falling out.

· Use a high-powered blender, food processor or immersion blender to pulverize all your veggies together. If you’re using a high enough powered blender, you may not even need to mince the garlic!

· Want to save about 15 minutes of prep time? Just buy the butternut squash cube. It’s about $3 more expensive but it may be work it if you are short on time.


Now for the recipe…

INGREDIENTS

· 1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), halved vertically* and seeds removed

· 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling

· ½ cup chopped onion

· ¼ cup carrots, peeled and cubed

· 1 teaspoon salt

· 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

· 1 can of full fat coconut milk

· 2 teaspoons maple syrup

· ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg

· ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger

· Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

· Optional: pepita seeds, craisins and parmesan cheese for topping


INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the butternut squash on the pan and drizzle each half with just enough olive oil to lightly coat the squash on the inside (about ½ teaspoon each). Rub the oil over the inside of the squash and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.


2. Add carrots and salt to the baking sheet and roast with the butternut squash for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes add the onion and garlic to the pan with a touch more olive oil. Continue to roast until the butternut squash is tender and completely cooked through, about 40 to 50 minutes total (don’t worry if the skin or flesh browns—that’s good for flavor). Set the squash aside until it’s cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.


3. Once cooled, use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into your blender. Discard the tough skin. Transfer the carrots, onion and garlic as well. Add the maple syrup, nutmeg, ginger, full- fat coconut milk and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper to the blender. Be careful not to fill the container past the maximum fill line (you can work in batches if necessary)


4. Securely fasten the lid. Blend on high (or select the soup preset, if available), being careful to avoid hot steam escaping from the lid. Stop once your soup is ultra creamy and warmed through.


5. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, to taste, and blend well. Taste and stir in more salt and pepper, if necessary.


6. If your soup is piping hot from the blending process, you can pour it into serving bowls. If not, pour it back into your soup pot and warm the soup over medium heat, stirring often, until it’s nice and steamy. I like to top individual bowls with some extra black pepper.


7. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!


The coconut milk in this soup makes it creamy and thick! I usually top mine with pepita seeds, craisins and parmesan cheese.

I also love baking sourdough bread to serve on the side for dipping!



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