Aug 11, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup!

You know how it’s just so hot outside that when you’re out and about in the sun for five minutes you’re already baking and you are already sticky? So when it’s this hot, the last thing you have on your list of things to eat is hot soup, right? NO!!! If you answered Yes to that previous question that was the wrong answer! Now, I guess I should clarify because I agree, that a thick, hardy soup is more of a winter craving. But, think about it, you’re hot, you’re sticky, maybe even sweating at this point but we find ourselves congregating around hot grills and eating stick to your ribs hamburgers and hotdogs (well I don’t really like hot dogs, but you get the picture!). I like my turkey burger, and all other treats on the grill during the summer season but I also want break nights from these meals. That’s where summery soups come in. There are of course cold soups, but I have a hard time eating cold soup for a major meal; it’s more of an appetizer for my tastes. Then there are some hot soups like this butternut squash soup that leave you full but also leave you feeling light and not so weighted down after a long day in the heat and sun! You’re going to love it if you give this soup a try for a weeknight meal!!

Here’s what you need to put this soup together real quick (that’s right, light and easy to make!)


(Adapted from Cooking Light. Makes enough for three dinner portions.)

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 3 cups worth)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley for topping

Salad and Salad Dressing

  • Spinach (enough for two side salads)
  • half large heirloom tomato
  • fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • dash of onion powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pepper to taste

Start with the soup. As always, Jordan was delegated to peel my butternut squash. Be careful, they are a bit on the dangerous side when you add a sharp knife in the mix. Once peeled, go ahead and cube the squash, onion and carrot.

Chopped veggies: butternut squash, onion and carrot.

Warm about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot and then add the butternut squash, onion and carrots. I add a little salt and pepper and then allow the vegetables to cook for a bit. Let them go for about about 12 minutes and then add the chicken broth.

Squash, carrot and onion left to saute for about 12 minutes.

I give a range for the amount of broth I add because it really varies for me. You want to add enough broth so that everything is covered and then a little extra. You can always add more if you need it! When the broth is added, turn up the heat a bit and bring the mixture to a boil. Let this sit for 25-30 minutes and you can get the rest of your meal together!

The salad was really a last minute addition to this meal. I had just returned from Cincinnati and I had a few delicious homegrown heirloom tomatoes from my uncle that you could really eat like a normal piece of fruit. Instead, I decided to put together a simple spinach and tomato salad with a quick balsamic vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, onion powder, and pepper.

I mixed this vinaigrette in an empty mustard jar that I kept. It’s great; you add all the ingredients, shake and pour! Very simple! Plus, you can keep this vinaigrette for about a week so all your salads can be dressed with homemade and healthy flavor! Well, to make it, I can’t say much more than just throw it all in the jar and shake or you can stir it up in small glass (works just as well!)

The last thing I added to this meal was some french bread that Jor toasted up on our little stovetop grill pan. You could also simply toast them in the toaster oven, or under the broiler in the oven. You’ll still have delicious bread (to dunk into your wonderful soup of course!) you’ll just be lacking the grill marks.

While you prepared the salad and bread, your soup should have been boiling and it should be ready to finish up! Add the half-and-half, give it a quick stir and then it’s time for the blender or a hand held mixer. The hand held is easy because you just immerse it in the pot and mix to the consistency you want. If using the blender, simply pour the soup in and blend (again until you have the thickness you’re looking for).

A complete meal of butternut squash soup, spinach and tomato salad, and grilled bread!

There you have it! DONE! I’m telling you, despite the sticky heat, this meal was still absolutely delicious and didn’t make me feel weighted down after dinner. I have to share the added bonus of making this soup. In the ingredients, I said that this would make three dinner portions. We ate the two and then saved the third and got TWO more meals out of it! I had a small cup to go along with my sandwich the next day and Jordan was able to use it as a sauce for his pasta the following night when I was out with a friend! Fantastic! So see, I’ve given you too many reasons for why you should make this soup that there really is no excuse not to!! For now, that’s butternut squash soup…in the shell of a nut!

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