Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This soup. Man. It is velvety smooth and tastes like it’s full of heavy cream, but it doesn’t have a drop. There’s nothing better than a recipe that makes your mouth and your waistline happy!

Start by prepping your squash and onions. Butternut squash is kind of a beast. It has very tough skin, and the flesh requires some muscle to cut through. But it is SO worth the effort! Peel the squash, cut off both ends, scoop out the seeds (just like you would a pumpkin), and cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces. You will need a good sharp knife, and remember to lay the squash on a cut (and therefore flat) end so that it doesn’t roll around as you try to saw through it, and lose a finger. Safety, people, safety! Interesting little tidbit about butternut squash: as the skin is pierced, it releases some kind of enzyme that will make your skin feel dry and weird. It’s a defense mechanism, designed to discourage animals and pests. Weird, huh? I like to wear a glove on my left hand, which, as my non-dominant hand, will have the most contact with the squash. Many grocery stores now carry pre-diced squash now…so if you’re pressed for time or not as weirdly excited as I am about attacking a gourd, then that’s a nice option.

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Ok, so we’ve conquered the squash. Now we cook the squash. Toss the squash mixture with some oil, salt, and pepper. Add the squash and diced onion to PREHEATED sheet pans (aka walled cookie sheets), then back in the 425 degree oven to get nice and roasty. Preheating your pans is a great trick to help you get that lovely browning on your veggies. Also, be sure to not overcrowd your sheet pans, or your veggies will just steam and not develop that deep flavor that you want. Stir the squash mixture every once in a while, and rotate your pans halfway through. Depending on the size of your cuts, it will take about 30 minutes.

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In a large dutch oven, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the finely diced ginger and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you want to make this vegetarian) and squash mixture, bring to a simmer, and let everyone get to know each other for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. You can also use a traditional blender, as long as you vent the lid so it doesn’t explode. Speaking of exploding, make sure you remove the soup from heat before you blend it. I did not, and as it bubbled it threw boiling soup into my eye. Not fun. So don’t be like me, kids. Remove from heat. Once everything is nice and creamy, add the silken tofu, and blend it in. Taste the soup, and adjust with salt, pepper, or vinegar (white wine or sherry would be my suggestion) if necessary. This soup makes great leftovers, and also freezes well. I garnished this with some green onion, since my grocery store was out of chives. I think the more delicate flavor of the chives would be a better complement, however. I can never remember which spelling of compliment/complement means what. I have to look it up every time. Anyone else? Just me? Oh, ok. Well, enjoy the soup!

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Makes 4 2-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, large dice
  • 4 tsp canola oil, divided
  • 1-2 tsp ginger, finely diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups silken tofu
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chives, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven and pans to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine squash and onion in a large bowl, and toss with 1 Tbsp oil and salt and pepper.
  3. Divide mixture between pans.
  4. Return pans to oven, and roast, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until squash is golden and cooked through.
  5. Heat dutch oven over medium heat, and add 1 tsp oil.
  6. Add ginger, and stir constantly for one minute until the ginger is fragrant.
  7. Add chicken stock and squash mixture.
  8. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Blend until very smooth.
  10. Add tofu, and blend again.
  11. Adjust seasoning, ladle, garnish, and serve hot!

*For the 21 Day Fix, this comes out to 1 green and 1/2 red containers, and 1 tsp. I will say that I had trouble finding out how to count the stock, so I didn’t since the calories it contributes are fairly negligible.

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