Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

When fall weather rolls around, many grocery stores stock all kinds of squash for people to enjoy as decoration or for some fall-themed meals. I never understood the hype of butternut squash, but was gifted one during a recent weekend getaway on a farm, so I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to see what the fuss was about. (Spoiler alert: it’s actually REALLY good!)

If I had to have one type of food for the rest of my life, I think I would choose soup because there are endless recipes from cultures around the world. The lazy person in me also likes being able to drink my nutrition, and I’m sure I’m not the only one!

This butternut squash soup recipe is hearty, warms the soul, and is good for you and can be made vegan if you use vegetable soup stock! With the ingredients I’m sharing below, I was able to make about 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash
  • 1-2 carrots (depending on your preference if you want to taste a hint of carrot)
  • 1 white onion (a yellow onion should work fine, too)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sprig of fresh sage if you have
  • 1 carton of soup stock (I used a 48oz one)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper powder (optional)

Equipment:

  • pressure cooker or instant pot (if you don’t have this, a regular pot works well too)
  • hand blender (stand mixer should also be fine)

Steps:

  1. Wash, peel, and dice up your squash into cubes, saving the skin and the seeds.
  2. Turn your pressure cooker onto the setting “saute”. If you are using a regular pot, start to heat it on the stove on low to medium heat.
  3. While your cookware is heating up, dice your onion, carrots, and garlic into rough pieces.
  4. Your pot should be heated up at this point, and you’ll want to add a touch of cooking oil, and then add in your onions for about 1-2 minutes. After this, add in your garlic and stir for about 1 more minute.
  5. Add in the diced squash and carrots, and pour in your soup stock.
  6. Stir in the salt, black pepper, cayenne powder, and sage.
  7. If you are using a pressure cooker, you’ll want to reset the machine and set it to soup. I put it on high pressure for 30 minutes, double checking that the vent was sealed. If you use a regular pot, turn up the heat to medium until it starts to boil, and then lower to a simmer and let it cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the squash is very soft (you can check by poking it with a fork).
  8. Once the time is up, take a hand blender and blend up all of the contents in your pot. You can taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper to taste.

ZERO WASTE BONUS

Did you know you can eat the skin and the seeds of your squash? Here’s what you can do for each of these bonus parts of your squash.

Butternut squash skin: When I made this soup the second time around, I gave my squash a really good scrub and roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) for approximately 30 minutes before putting them into the pot for further cooking.

Butternut squash seeds: The first time I roasted butternut squash seeds, they came out extra dry and crispy and it didn’t feel like I was getting much out of it except a jaw workout. After watching this video about cooking a Thanksgiving meal on a budget, I learned a secret trick…boil the seeds first before you roast! Once you can see a tiny crack in the seed shells, they’re ready to be seasoned and popped into the pre-heated oven. I was glad to learn that I could even eat the seed shells!

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