Butternut Squash Soup

IMG_3505Winter is in full swing.  The south even got a little snow this year.  When I’m chilly, when I feel like being cozy, soup it is!  Yet, I usually tend to gravitate towards chunky, creamy varieties…. not so great for the waist line, though.  Winter squashes make great soups.  They’re creamy. They’re savory, lightly sweet. They’re easily paired with other entrees.  My favorite way to serve this soup is with a hearty, whole-grain bread.

When I first got into nutrition, eating/cooking healthfully, I ran across Rosie Daley’s cookbook, The Healthy Kitchen.  Andrew Weil co-wrote the book with her.. I fell in love with him.. seriously!  I read everything he published.  Magazines, books, news articles, you name it, I read it.  I really enjoyed how he approached eating and eating well.  He didn’t describe eating healthfully as boring or bland, but as vibrate and full of life.  I knew I had to go in that direction. Fifteen years later I’m still enjoying that cookbook and the recipes he introduced to me.

This recipe is closely related to Andrew Weil’s Winter Squash and Apple Soup.  The only real difference is that I usually don’t add in the pesto and I bulk it up a little more with apples and squash. I used butternut squash for this recipe.  Thankfully, my local grocery store peels and chops butternut squash in the produce section.  If you’ve ever tried to cut up a butternut squash you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Going in you really don’t know if you’re going to come out with your hand or not.  It’s basically trial and error.  I’ve actually made it several years without accidentally taking a knife to my hand.  What I’m getting at…. butternut squash is hard-as-a-rock!!  Please be careful if you are chopping your own.  Look around on youtube for some easy ways, hopefully safe ways to go about it.

It’s all about simplicity.  A little bit of this.  A little bit of that.  Roast these. Stir in this. Simmer and serve.  Easy.  Simple.  Delicious.

Start with 2 pounds of butternut squash (about 1 large).  Peel and quarter in to 1 inch pieces.  You’ll need 1/2 a large yellow onion, chopped and 1/2 a large purple onion, chopped. Peel a couple pieces of garlic.  Peel, core and chop 2-3 apples.  Toss together with a little olive oil.

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Roast at 400 degrees until tender, about 35-40 minutes.  Scoop portions into a blender while adding in 4-6 cups of chicken broth, depending on how thin or thick you like your soup.  You can certainly use vegetable broth, too. Think a little at a time… a little roasted veggies, a little broth, blend. Pour into a soup pot. Repeat.  Be careful not to fill your blender too full because it will overflow due to the heat of the vegetables.  The steam is also very hot!

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After all the roasted vegetables are blended to a nice, soupy consistency, heat to a simmer being careful not to burn the bottom.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with crusty bread.  Top with a little red pepper flakes if you like. Enjoy!

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