Butternut squash is one of my all time favourite fall/winter vegetable. By roasting the vegetable it brings out an inert sweetness and believe me, you can eat it as is. If you are trying to avoid desserts and you have a sweet tooth, try this. I also add it to sandwiches or pasta. Goes well in sambar or any curries and erissery too (where you would add pumpkin).
When I think of soups, I like them creamy and smooth without adding heavy cream. This soup has the warm heat from cumin, pepper and chilli flakes and this is a perfect soup for winter if you are looking for a creamy soup. I have made this soup so often and I was surprised that I had not written it up. I make enough to eat for many meals. They also freeze well.
My fitness instructor is constantly trying to make us eat healthy. Two years ago we tried a diet which she suggested. I think I lasted a week; read more here in Diet, you say. Looking for positives in this pandemic, even though i am across the globe, I have started attending her classes as it is on Zoom. This week she suggested we do a smoothie challenge. It is cold and snowing here and I cannot think of smoothies in the winter and she suggested soup. So I may try this, eating soup for one meal a day. She suggested we have it for dinner. Here are recipes to some other soups- vegan pumpkin soup (very similar to this soup), thai inspired soup, spinach soup, roasted tomato eggplant soup.
- 1 butternut squash (about 2.5-3 pound squash or 2 smaller)
- 1 + 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh sage or thyme or 1/2 tsp dried herbs
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery or leeks
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 6 cloves chopped garlic
- 6 cups vegetable stock or 2 soup cubes in 6 cups of water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 – 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- roasted pepita seeds (or pumpkin or sunflower seeds) to garnish
- Optional (2 tbsp butter or vegan butter)
- Extra virgin olive oil or chilli oil for garnish
- stir fried mushrooms or other vegetable (chopped carrots, green beans)- for a different texture to the creamy soup
- 1/4 cup coconut milk or cream
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 200ºC/ 400ºF
- Slice butternut squash in half and remove seeds
- Brush 1 tbsp oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and sprinkle some sage or thyme.
- Place cut side down and roast for about 40-50 minutes.
- Peel the skin and chop up the flesh
- In a stockpot, add 1 tbsp oil.
- Add onions, celery and carrots. Keep stirring on medium heat for about 5-6 minutes
- Add garlic and fry for a minute. Then add squash, salt and pepper and fry for a few minutes
- Add stock, thyme, chilli flakes and bay leaf and let it cook for 10-15 minutes
- Remove bay leaf.
- Puree soup in blender or hand blender. Taste for salt and pepper and if required add some coconut milk/cream and heat.
- Heat butter in a separate pan till slightly brown and add to the soup (optional)
- Ladle soup into bowls.
- Drizzle with coconut milk or cream (optional)
- Garnish with pepita or pumpkin seeds, some stir fried mushrooms or green beans and carrot
- Grind some black pepper on top and drizzle with olive or chilli oil and serve hot with some fresh crusty bread