I find myself cooking a lot of the same things over and over again. It can get pretty boring. My husband doesn’t have an adventurous palate and in this way he is the toddler our table. Diego will eat pretty much anything and although some new textures receive a less than warm reception from him at first, he usually comes round.
When we went grocery shopping last week I picked up some butternut squash. I love butternut squash soup but rarely make it. The first time I had it was at Whole Foods and I loved it so much I made my own that same week. Now, I probably mention this in every recipe I share but it’s worth noting that I don’t really cook from a recipe most of the time. I use recipes as guides, not rules. I am comfortable enough in the kitchen where precise measurements aren’t my thing. Baking is VERY different in that regard, but for savory meals a little common sense and knowledge is all you need.
This is my take on butternut squash soup. I hope you try it and love it as much as I did!
You will need:
1.5- 2 lbs butternut squash
2 medium carrots
1 small/medium onion
1 large garlic clove (or a couple of small ones)
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
3 basil leaves
1 tblsp cream cheese
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
salt & pepper to taste
- Peel and roughly chop your vegetables. You will need to remove the seeds from your squash. Don’t worry about being neat, just try to make the pieces somewhat uniform so they cook evenly. You can either mince the garlic or throw it in whole. If you throw it in whole you can remove it before pureeing it (something to think about if you don’t want/like too much garlic).
- In a pot heat some olive oil on medium-high heat (you can also use coconut oil, or really, any oil of your choice) and add vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you are not using salt-free stock go easy on the salt at this point. Add the cumin and paprika. Sauté until the vegetables have developed a little color and have begun to soften.
- Take your basil leaves and roll them up as best you can. Cut at an angle down the length of your basil cigar 😉 add to your vegetables and stir to combine.
- Add two cups of stock. (I used chicken stock that I had made the night before). To make this a vegetarian meal just use the vegetable stock.
- With a clean spoon taste the soup. If you feel it needs some more salt and pepper add it now. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- By this point your vegetable will be soft and fully cooked. Remove the pot from the heat and leave to cool for a bit. This is a good time to remove the garlic clove if you left it whole and want to do so.
- This next step can be done in a countertop blender, immersion blender, or food mill. I used a blender and all I did was pour the soup into the jar along with the cream cheese and blend until smooth. You can use heavy cream instead of cream cheese and how much you use is up to you. I would say about 1/4 cup should be plenty. Also, if you use heavy cream make sure not to add it when the soup is boiling as that will cause it to split. And that wouldn’t be, as Alton Brown says,”good eats”.
- Pour the soup back into the pot and gently heat up again if needed. Your soup is now ready to serve and enjoy.
- Refrigerate any leftovers.
Did you know that your delicious butternut squash soup can double as pasta sauce? It is delicious and a perfect way to use up leftovers. All you need is the pasta of your choice and an additional spoonful of cream cheese. Here’s what I did: I cooked my pasta according to package directions. While my pasta cooked I poured some of the soup into a pan and gently heated it through. Once the pasta was cooked and drained I added it to the soup along with a spoonful of cream cheese. I stirred until the cream cheese had melted into the sauce and pasta. I garnished with basil (I grow it in my garden and find any excuse to use it!). If I’d had some parmesan cheese on hand I would have added some…next time!