While considered a fall food, butternut squash can be found in many grocery stores year round. So, don’t wait until the fall. Whip up this simply luscious soup anytime.
How to cut
In preparing this fruit (yes, it is a fruit, not a vegetable), paring the tough skin and cutting through its firm flesh is a bit of a challenge. But just get a good quality vegetable peeler, a chef’s knife, and a cutting board, and you should have little difficulty peeling the squash, slicing it in half, removing the seeds, then cutting it into two-inch pieces. Although a bit pricey, precut butternut squash can also be purchased.
Several cooking options
Some recipes call for cooking the vegetables in a crockpot or simmering on the stovetop with some water until soft. Our taste testers were unanimous in giving thumbs up to roasting the vegetables, which gave the soup a richer, deeper flavor. Plus that pinch of red pepper adds just enough kick for complete satisfaction.
Good for your health
Butternut squash is chock full of vitamin A, potassium and fiber, and high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene to help boost the immune function. Foods like butternut squash decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. And at about 125 calories per one-cup serving what’s not to love?
- 1 butternut squash (about 8 cups) skin removed and cut into 2 inch pieces; or purchase already prepared in 20-ounce packages at the grocery store
- 1 carrot, cut into chunks
- 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, seeded and cut into quarters
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut into quarters
- 2 whole cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice, or combination of cinnamon and nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne), optional
- Several tablespoons lemon juice
- Garnish with grated nutmeg and fresh thyme leaves, optional
Makes 8, one-cup servings.
- Heat the oven to 425°F.
- Toss butternut squash, carrot, apple, onion, thyme, salt and pepper with the olive oil to coat.
- Spread vegetables on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray.
- Roast vegetables about 40 to 45 minutes on middle rack until nicely browned. Turn vegetables over half way through roasting.
- Remove vegetables from oven, place in a large saucepan and add the broth, pumpkin spice and red pepper.
- Bring mixture to a boil on medium-high heat, and then reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Blend mixture smooth right in the saucepan using an immersion blender, or use a blender to puree the soup in batches until smooth.
- Stir in lemon juice.
- Serve with garnish of grated nutmeg and fresh thyme sprigs.
Makes 8 servings.
Per one cup serving: 125.7 calories; 2 g total fat (0.2 g saturated, 0.2 g polyunsaturated, 1.3 g monounsaturated); 394.5 mg sodium; 0.3 mg cholesterol; 27.6 g carbohydrate (3.2 g sugars); 768.8 mg potassium; 3.1 g protein; 7.3 g fiber.