On days like these I crave a bowl full of something hot and comforting.
In the past few weeks California has been hit with storm after storm bringing some much needed rain. Unlike the rain in Hawaii that is warm and soft this rain has been cold and brutal. On days like these I crave a bowl full of something hot and comforting.
A few years ago I went to Panera and ordered their Butternut Squash soup. Growing up I never had any interest in the giant gourd like fruit but after having a delicious butternut squash ravioli I realized that I actually enjoyed it’s flavor. The taste of the soup was mild in spice and heavy with cream, garnished with a few pumpkin seeds. Rather than paying $8 for a cup of the fat heavy soup I realized I could make my own version for a fraction of the cost.
To make my Butternut Squash soup I used a small butternut squash. With a sharp knife I cut the ends of the squash and then halved the pieces in order to access the seeds. Using a spoon I scooped out the seeds and then peeled off the skin using a potato peeler. Taking your knife slice and cube the squash into 1 inch cubes.
My small squash ended up being about 4 cups. If your squash is larger you can always store the extra squash in your refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap.
Wash a carrot and dice into 1-1/2 inch pieces you can leave the skin on just make sure to scrub it well. Peel and dice a yellow onion into similar sizes as your carrot.
Place your soup pot on the stove and turn on heat to medium high. Once the pot is hot turn heat down to low and then add oil. I used about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom before throwing in my diced onion and carrot.
Cook these on low until the onions begin to turn translucent and then add your butternut squash to the pot. Admire the beautiful orange color before adding about 2 cups of water or chicken broth.
The liquid should almost cover the squash. Turn up heat and bring liquid to a boil and then let simmer to cook until the squash is fork tender. This took me about 10 minutes in my heavy cast iron pot.
Turn off stove, then using a ladle, transfer some of the vegetable mixture into a blender or food processor and puree slowly until smooth. Continue this process in batches. *DON’T OVERFILL YOUR BLENDER WITH ANYTHING HOT OR IT WILL EXPLODE* I learned the hard way when I decided it would be a good idea to clean the blender by filling it with hot water and soap. When it exploded and foamy suds went flying all over the kitchen, I had a hard time explaining to my family why their counters looked so pristine when they arrived home
Return smooth mixture to pot on low heat and add in spices thyme, curry powder, black pepper, cinnamon sugar, and 1/4 cup apple juice. I mostly just eyeball spices so feel free to omit or add extra! Stir and let simmer gently while you adjust the spices to your taste. (If you did not use chicken broth add salt at this time to taste) Lastly stir in 1/4 of cream, half and half, or milk to soup for extra creaminess.
I like to add in a little pour of extra cream when serving for garnish. With this type of warm and creamy soup I prefer to eat this with french bread for dipping.
I hope you enjoy my recipe for butternut squash soup! Comment below on how your soup came out or let me know what your favorite cold weather dish is!
Butternut Squash Soup
Makes about 4 Servings
You will need:
- Butternut Squash (4 cups)
- 1 Carrot
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple juice (0r apple cider)
- 2 cups Water (or chicken broth)
- Thyme 1/4 tsp
- Curry powder (pinch)
- Cinnamon sugar (1 tsp)
- Black pepper and Salt to taste.
- 1/4 cup cream (half and half or milk can be substituted)
- Dice Butternut Squash, Carrot, and onion into 1-1/2 inch cubes.
- Heat pot and add oil before sauteing carrots and onions. Once the onions begin to turn translucent add squash.
- Pour in water/broth and bring to boil and then simmer until butternut is fork tender.
- Put squash, carrot, and onion mixture into blender and blend in batches until smooth.
- Return mixture to pot and add spices (thyme, curry powder, cinnamon sugar, black pepper, salt) and apple juice.
- Keep simmering until spices have infused and then finish off soup by stirring cream into soup.
- Turn off heat and serve with extra cream and bread!
*If you are using dry thyme then add to soup before blending, for fresh thyme add after blending*