Perhaps after the overwhelming feasting of Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day you are ready for something a bit more on the healthy side. Or maybe you wisely skipped all that but are always on the lookout for new recipes. Look no further! Today I have a wonderful healthy and vegetarian (optionally vegan) recipe to share with you all.
I’d been eyeing soups like these for a while but only a few weeks ago bit the bullet and bought an immersion blender. Turns out they are awesome and you should absolutely get one. If it’s not in the budget or cupboard space doesn’t allow, you can make do with a food processor or high-end blender, but for real an immersion blender is the way to go. I ordered mine from Amazon (no I’m not getting paid for this, I just love it) and it is fantastic. I’m sure I’ll be using it often, which is good because I haven’t quite found a cupboard to store it in.
Regardless, soup. Butternut squash is always rampant in the winter but until this year I’d never actually cooked with it. Turns out that like spaghetti squash, it’s an incredibly easy option. After roasting, it’s delicious simply mashed with a little butter and salt and pepper, and even more amazing in more complex recipes like this soup.
Squash and pumpkin bolstered slightly with the sweetness of apples are mixed with vegetable stock and spices for a wonderful savory entrée. An optional addition of heavy cream makes it an extra amazing experience but it’s also delicious without. Either way, the slightly sweet vegetables with a little spiciness is an excellent combination. With everything puréed together, the flavors are perfectly blended into a simple course that easy to pair with many sides.
This recipe is vegetarian as is, and can be made vegan by omitting the cream or substituting your favorite non-dairy option. If you’re neither of those things, serve with some crumbled bacon for extra flair, or just to appease the carnivores in the family.
Since the oven will already be hot from roasting the squash, a batch of roasted Brussels sprouts makes a perfect side dish to round out a very colorful meal. Even better, this soup reheats nicely either on the stove or in the microwave, which is great for the abundant leftovers I hope you have.
Apple Pumpkin Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Smile Sandwich
Makes about 2 quarts
1 medium to large butternut squash
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
32 oz vegetable (or chicken) stock
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheets with foil or a silicon mat.
- Cut squash in half (the long way) and remove the seeds. Coat lightly with olive oil and place on baking sheet.
- Roast for 40-50 minutes, or until squash is easily pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, dice onion, apples, and garlic. (I also like to pre-measure my spices into a small cup and then clean up the kitchen at this time, but that’s totally up to you.)
- When the squash has about 15 minutes left, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add onion, apple, and garlic and saute until they are softened, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in spices, pumpkin puree, and vegetable stock and continue cooking while you finish the squash. (If you pre-cooked your squash, you can just skip straight to step 9.)
- When the squash is cooked, remove from oven and carefully scoop out the flesh from the skin. (You may want to wait about ten minutes for them to cool down a little, and/or use a heat-proof glove).
- Add squash to the pot, bring soup to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the cream, if desired. Use an immersion blender to completely puree the soup. Taste and up the spices a little, if desired.
- Serve hot with freshly ground pepper on top. Refrigerate leftovers.