Ahhh, soup season….
The weather has chilled out in the Midwest and that means the best time of year is upon us. I know that for many, the crisp evening air denotes pumpkin-spice season but for me: it’s time to make soup.
Soup, in my opinion is the all-time best way to feed your family (or anyone else’s, for that matter). It’s nourishing, comforting, economical and very versatile. Best of all, it’s easy to make in large batches and freeze as a future gift to your busy self.
One thing makes this soup extra easy…
This soup is a particular favorite because it uses a genius hack: roasting squash WHOLE. You heard me. There’s no need to peel a thick skin or almost kill yourself cutting through the rhino-like hide of the squash. You can take that whole squash, un-adorned in any way and put it right in your oven on a sheet pan. Let it roast until soft and enjoy the supreme ease of peeling the cooked flesh away from the skin and seeds.
How to get started…
Begin by roasting your squash. This can be done at cooking time but can also be done up to two days in advance to save time. This is helpful because it allows you to scoop out the flesh when your squash is nice and cool instead of wrestling with it while at a lava-hot, straight out of the oven temperature (which is what I did in this recipe’s corresponding video!)
Once your squash is roasted and cooled, split it open lengthwise, scoop out any seeds and remove the flesh in chunks. The chunks can be fairly large since the soup is getting pureed.
Meanwhile, chop some onion (red, white, green, any will do) fresh ginger and a few cloves of garlic. While prepping your aromatics, preheat your favorite soup pot on medium-high heat and add a generous drizzle of oil.
Make the magic happen…
Once your pan and oil are hot, add your aromatics along with a good pinch of salt and sauté until everything is fragrant and soft. Now’s the time to add your spices. It is best to bloom them in the warm oil for optimal flavor. I didn’t do it this way in our video because, well, I forgot. Guess what? The soup was still delicious. That being said, add your spices at the correct time and your dish will go from good to great.
Once your aromatics are soft and your spices have bloomed, add in your cooked squash and enough broth (or water) to cover everything. Once again, we strongly recommend better-than-bullion brand paste for all applications. If using, add approximately 1 teaspoon of paste per cup of water to your pot and stir very well to incorporate.
Bring the pot to a boil and then allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. This will reduce the water content, concentrate your flavors and prepare your soup to be pureed.
Once the liquid has reduced a bit and everything is nicely mingled, kill the heat and bring out your immersion blender.
Blend your soup until it is nice and silky smooth with no little bits or chunks left behind.
I finish this soup by adding in one can of FULL FAT coconut milk, and a few big squeezes of fresh lime juice.
Some notes on this soup…
This soup is ultra versatile and could be made with many other types of squash as well as sweet potato or carrot.
You can serve this soup:
-as a first course to a lovely dinner
-in a shot glass topped with our chili lime pumpkin seeds for a Thanksgiving appetizer
-as a lovely lunch with any number of fall salads.
This soup freezes extremely well and is very easy to make in a LARGE batch to portion off as needed to freeze. This (and all soups, really) is wonderful to have waiting in the freezer to pull out at a moment’s notice when you don’t have the time, energy, or willpower to get into the kitchen and cook.
How can I spiff this soup up or simplify if need be?
DRESS IT UP
>Serve soup over brown rice or quinoa for added body, protein and fiber.
>This soup would also go well with roasted tofu or chicken.
>Serve with decadent butter sautéed mushrooms on top.
>Top with chili lime pumpkin seeds.
DRESS IT DOWN
>Skip the broth and use water instead. Up your seasoning in this case.
>Skip chopping the aromatics (though this will sacrifice nutrition and immunity value as well as flavor) and use dried powders instead!
>This soup can be made with roasted carrot or sweet potato instead of squash.
>Any kind of broth or liquid can be used in place of the veggie broth.
>Any kind of seasoning can be substituted for the chili lime. Cumin comes to mind as the most ideal but also plain old salt and pepper are just fine!
World’s Easiest Butternut Squash Soup
- Immersion Blender you can also puree this soup in batches using a regular blender, immersion is just much quicker/tidier
- 1 medium to large butternut squash roasted whole
- 2 tbsp oil of your choice we recommend coconut or avocado
- 1 small to medium onion (any kind will do!) chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves processed to your liking- smashed = mellow garlic flavor –> minced = intense garlic flavor
- 1 thumb sized knob fresh ginger peeled and chopped roughly (optional)
- 1 Tbsp seasoning of your choice we like chili lime or cumin w/ extra salt & pepper
- 1 quart water or veggie broth we recommend better than bullion. You may need more or less liquid depending on the size of your squash.
- one 14.5 oz can full fat coconut milk don't skip this!
- juice of 1-2 limes, to your taste
- Roast you squash (whole) in a 425 degree oven on a sheet pan until a knife can be very easily inserted with no resistance whatsoever. Timing will depend on the size of your squash- about 25-40 minutes. Split open to allow steam to escape, remove seeds and discard/compost. Then remove the cooked squash in large chunks from the skin. This step can be done up to 3 days ahead.
- Chop your onion, garlic and ginger if using.
- Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat with some oil (chef’s choice) and once warm, add your aromatics and a pinch of salt. Saute until they have sweat down a bit and are very fragrant.
- Add your seasoning of choice and allow spice to bloom in the hot oil and aromatics for a moment before adding your squash (allowed to come to room temperature if cooked previously and refrigerated) and your broth.
- Bring your soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and allow flavors to mingle and broth to reduce, about 15-20 minutes.
- Puree using an immersion blender (preferred method) or in batches using a blender.
- Once pureed, add in one can of full fat coconut milk, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Finish with fresh lime juice.