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Monday, November 10, 2014

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Winter has arrived here in the midwest, bringing bone chilling cold, wind and snow.
Schools are closing down early, and just looking out the window sends a shiver through your bones, which got me thinking of soup.

I have always been a soup lover, and I could happily eat it every day when the cold weather hits. There is just something about a bowl of soup that warms me right down to my toes, and fills me up for a long day of scooping snow, building an igloo, or just curling up in a cozy chair with a blanket, my fur babies, and a good book.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we do :)

1 Butternut squash (about 3 lbs.)
2 tsp. butter
Fresh rosemary

1 TBSP coconut oil (or whatever you prefer for cooking your onion)
1/2 cup of onion, chopped
4 C. gluten free chicken broth
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp of powdered ginger
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp allspice (whole)
1/4 C brown sugar* (optional)
2 TBSP pure maple syrup
3/4 C heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

Let's do this!

Preheat your oven to 400*F

1. Cut your squash in half lengthwise and shave just enough off of the bottom so that it will sit level on your baking sheet, like this:

2. Scoop out the pulp and seeds, place 1 tsp of butter in each hollow. Place on baking sheet, sprinkle with nutmeg and fresh rosemary, pour a bit of water in the bottom of your baking sheet (maybe 1/4 C) and place in oven.
 3. Baking time always varies for me, but start to check to see if its done after about 45 minutes, but I have had them take up to 1 1/2 hours. The water in the pan seems to speed it up a bit though, so I add more if the pan is dry when I check it.

4. When your squash is done, let it sit for a while to cool down to handling tempurature. Put your oil in a 2 qt or larger saucepan and warm over medium heat; add your onion, a dash of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp of the cinnamon and a pinch of sea salt. Saute until the onions are soft (omg, doesn't that smell good?) Remove from heat.

5. Cube up your squash and add it to the onions; pour in the broth. Adthe chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Give it a stir, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring it every so often.

6. Remove from heat and let it cool a bit before you attempt the next step or you WILL have a mess, and could quite possibly get burned badly, and we don't want that now, do we? Unless you have an immersion blender, which I do not, so here is how I do it... Pour your soup into a large bowl that has a pour spout, (or I suppose you could ladle it). Add the applesauce and allspice.
Slowly pour soup into your blender until it is about half full; put the lid on your blender and hold it on, because heat expands and you don't want butternut soup all over your kitchen. Puree for about 30 seconds, transfer back to your saucepan and continue until all of it has been pureed.

7. Stir in your brown sugar. Whisk in the maple syrup and cream, heat on low until it reaches the desired temp. 
* If you don't like the slightly sweeter taste, omit the brown sugar

8. I like to top mine with a swirl of sour cream and croutons. I make croutons from gluten free bread butts, but that is a recipe for another day. Some other tasty toppings are crispy bacon crumbles, roasted pumpkin seeds and believe it or not, buttered popcorn :)

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