Thanksgiving is just around the corner and like many of you, I’ll be trying out a new dish or two – as well as pulling out the tried and true favorites – like this soup.
But hey! Why wait for Thanksgiving? This soup is perfect any time butternut squash is available!
It has a rich, creamy, slightly nutty pumpkin flavor, yet it contains no cream at all, making it lower in calories than many other Butternut soups. And every time I serve it I get requests for the recipe. It’s so easy to remember, and to make, that it’s almost embarrassing – because there are only 5 ingredients in the whole thing (not counting the tablespoon of cooking oil for sauteing the onion).
But then sometimes the simplest things are the best, don’t you think?
I will tell you that the most time-consuming part is the peeling and cubing of the squash.
And might I suggest you do it before you get that holiday manicure, as the lovely orange color (which makes this such a healthy vegetable) will likely stain your hands, particularly that French manicure! =)
Having said that, I think this soup is definitely worth it!
However, if you find you don’t want to spend the time or the energy peeling and cubing the squash yourself, you may be able to find that your local market has done it for you. Trader Joe’s, for example, usually has bags of them in their produce section. Particularly, this time of year.
For those not familiar with Butternut Squash, this is what it looks like before anything has been done to it:
One of the other great things about this soup (well, actually there are several), is that you can make the soup a few days before you need it and it stores well in the fridge. Then all you have to do is reheat it on that big day!
Because it can be very filling and a meal in itself, I’d keep that in mind when you’re ladling it up for your guests. Usually a single ladleful is enough to start your Thanksgiving feast. Although I’ve had many guests tell me it’s so yummy they’d gladly take a bowl full and forgo the rest of the meal!
And whether you choose to serve it from a carved out pumpkin or an elegant tureen it makes for a festive holiday dish.
This is all you’ll need to make the:
- Peeled and cubed Butternut squash (approximately 6 lbs.) - 2
- medium to large onions, coarsely chopped - 2
- organic gluten-free vegetable broth (or chicken broth, if you prefer) - 8 cups (64 oz.)
- salt - 1 1/2 teaspoons
- pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
In a large soup pot saute the onion in a Tablespoon or so of cooking oil until the onion has softened and lightly browned (approximately 3 - 5 minutes). Then dump the peeled and cubed butternut squash into the pot along with the broth. You want to make sure the squash is pretty much covered. Then simmer away, stirring occasionally until the squash is tender and thoroughly cooked. At this point I use an immersion blender directly in the pot until it's creamy and smooth. Or you can run it through the blender. Just be careful as it will be very hot! Season with salt and pepper (more if necessary to your taste), and voila! It's done.
That was easy, wasn't it?
Oh, I garnished this bowl with a bit of Greek Yogurt - dragging a toothpick through it to make the design, and added some roasted Butternut Squash seeds - just to make it extra special. ;)
This makes approximately 16 cups (4 quarts), so if you don't want or need that much, cut back on the recipe. Or freeze the extra and it will provide you with another meal (or meals) for another day! Simply pour it into a freezer bag/s (allowing enough space at the top for it to expand as it freezes), label it, and pop it into your freezer.
I like to use these bags because it allows me to lay them flat, one on top of another, and it doesn't take much space that way. Then, when you're ready for some nice homemade butternut squash soup, simply take it out of the freezer, defrost it, heat it, and and you're good to go!
A note about butternut squash: It has more vitamin A than a pumpkin, providing about 354% of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy skin and mucus membranes, and is essential for good eye-sight . It can also help the body by protecting it against lung and oral cavity cancers. Butternut Squash is rich in B-complex vitamins and contains a similar amount of minerals as pumpkin.
And don't throw away those seeds! They're a good source of fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (which will benefit the heart). They're also rich in protein, minerals, and other vitamins. And they contain tryptophan - which as I explain can help inflammation, as well as your serotonin levels - important for regulating sleep, mood, and appetite. http://janiceameesglutenfree.com/?p=976