I am a pale nerd, so apart from all the fruits and veggies that grow in the sunshine and the fun to be had while camping/hiking, I hate summer. My body is ill-equipped to deal with it. And I especially hate Crazy Hot Global Warming summer! Same goes for winter. Except backwards.
My favorite season is fall. Not too hot, not too cold, it’s time to bring out the coats and boots, sip hot chocolate, kick piles of leaves, make soups and stews, and best of all, apple/squash/root vegetable season has arrived, oh mama!
In my opinion, soups are grossly underestimated as a filling meal. I have found that many popular, commercially available soups (or restaurant offerings) are either too thin and watery with chunks of stuff floating in it, or super thick and fatty-tasting yet bland (giving you that queasy feeling later), and all of them are too salty. I’m talking “my mouth hurts, can I see the nurse now?” levels of sodium: if your tongue stings and it’s not because you burnt it, there is too much in there. Over-salted food is a pet peeve of mine. We are humans, not ponies, so it’s time for a re-vamp!
Butternut squash is a favorite ingredient of mine, for some of the same reasons that I love roasted garlic, caramelized onions, and Gruyère cheese: They taste sweet, rich, hearty, and well-rounded. Kind of like how I envision myself in 5 years. Kidding.
There are so many delectable uses for The BS, whether it’s roasted, boiled sous vide or in broth, puréed, grated, included in ravioli filling, or a myriad of other things, so I thought it would be great to showcase it with some of my other favourite ingredients.
This recipe is so easy to make and has been a hit every single time. The ingredients are so delicious on their own that combined simply and spiced lightly, they make a huge statement. It’s thick and creamy like a bisque, but purely because of the vegetables, and has a little hint of pepperiness that sneaks up on you. Plus if you make a ton of this soup, you can play with different garnishes every day.
Warning: If you have sensitive skin, break out a pair of latex or rubber gloves. Some people have reactions when peeling the squash. I haven’t yet, but have had severe contact dermatitis once before (from a harsh detergent), and it is no party.
Fall-Out-of-Your-Seat-Easy Butternut Squash Soup
Serves about 8 people, depending on whether the soup is an appy or a main
4 cups roasted butternut squash (half of a large squash, or 1 small)
A few cloves of roasted garlic (as many as YOU want. I used about 12 but could do 20 easily)
3 cups sliced onions (white, yellow, or red)
4 cups water
2 tbsp chicken broth powder (veggie broth powder also works great. If you’re gluten-sensitive, use stock instead of powders and water)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1tsp dried chili flakes (halve this amount if you want it very mild)
2 tbsp butter (or sesame oil for a vegan option)
Oil for brushing
There are so many ways to dress up a soup that after this I have to start working on a post to give y’all some ideas. One of these days I should have a soup party so the guests can build/top their own, like a sundae bar.
I’ve made this recipe a few different ways before, adding carrots, coconut milk, chunks or coconut cream, or adding a tiny bit of extra water and cooking pasta in it. FYI, roasting the squash is definitely the best way to go, prep-wise, as it sweetens and softens the squash at the same time. The first time I ever made this, chopping up the entire thing and boiling it in stock was time-consuming, labour-intensive, and annoying to have to keep hovering over and stirring.
One perk was giving the pores a good steaming.