Soup week continues with quite possibly my favorite recipe of 2013. This creamy butternut squash soup is a dream; it tastes just like Fall, it is super healthy, satisfying, and the flavor is out of this world. I've made it three times since I took these pictures and every time I swoon at how incredibly easy and delicious it is.
I like flexibility in the kitchen, and there's no vegetable more flexible than a butternut squash. And by flexible, I mean not flexible at all--it's actually quite sturdy--no, what I mean by flexible is that you can buy it for dinner one week, change your menu, and not have to worry about it going bad and wasting your money. I had this butternut squash sitting on my counter for more than 10 days, just waiting for the right time to use it. It's dinner flexibility at it's finest, and that makes me happy.
Plus, look at that color.
Let's get started.
Peel and chop one large butternut squash, discarding any seeds. Butternut squash is a hardy vegetable so be careful while peeling. You could very well cut off a finger if you're not.
Assemble your spices. You'll need: Salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, all spice, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.
Plus, olive oil, an onion and some garlic.
In a large stock pot, add olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and let them cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and stir.
Next, add your spices.
Cover the squash with chicken stock--about 4 cups.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Place a lid on the pot, slightly ajar, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the squash is very tender and comes apart when you pierce it with a fork.
Remove pot from the heat and using an immersion blender, or a traditional blender working in batches, blend the soup until completely smooth. It should be slightly thick, but if it's too thick add a splash more chicken stock.
Add about 1/4 cup of half and half (I used fat free) for creaminess after you've blended the soup.
Stir it together and taste for seasonings. Adjust if necessary, then serve right away!
Crusty bread on the side is a must, but these pumpkin spiced pecans are optional and I think would be absolutely incredible. I would have topped my soup with them had I thought of it at the time!
The soup is creamy but healthy. The squash is starchy enough to give the soup some heft without adding a bunch of cream or cheese, and the splash of half and half gives it just the right amount of richness.
This soup would be a great Holiday dinner first course and can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. I froze half of this and reheated it the next week and it was just as good.
You should make this soon so we can talk about how good it is. Will you do that for me? Thanks.
Here's the recipe.
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and seeded and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- 1/4 cup half and half
- Add olive oil to a large stock pot with a heavy lid. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the squash and stir. Add spices and stir to coat, then cover with the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer.
- Place lid on the pot, slightly ajar. Let simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is very tender and breaks apart easily when pierced by a fork. Remove soup from the heat and blend until smooth using either an immersion blender or a traditional blender, working in batches. Once blended, add half and half and stir to combine. Serve right away with crusty bread and pumpkin spiced pecans on top if desired.