Butternut Squash Soup
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 (2 to 2½ lbs.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- ½ cup chopped celery
- 3 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger (about a 4-inch piece)
- 6 cups reduced fat, low sodium chicken or vegetable stock or broth
- salt to taste
Heat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with foil.
Place the squash on the baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Use your hands, or a spoon, to coat the squash. Bake for 15 minutes or until squash starts to brown slightly.
Heat a large stockpot on medium high for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil, carrots and celery; cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly soft (not brown).
Add the squash, ginger and 3 cups of the broth to the stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low; cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until squash pieces are tender.
Pour the soup (in batches if necessary) into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (do not fill blender or food processor more than halfway—see “cooking know how” below).
Return soup to stockpot and add remaining broth; cook on medium low until heated through.
Garnish with toasted almonds, pomegranates or chopped parsley.
Cooking know how…
Never fill a blender or food processor more than halfway when blending warm or hot soups or sauces. Remove the “fill cap” so the blender or food processor can vent. Hold the top of the blender or food processor with a thick towel to catch any soup or sauce that comes out. Pulse the machine several times before letting it stay on to blend.
Four tips for working with butternut squash:
1. Cut straight across the top and bottom of squash. You may be able to do this in one go, otherwise, work the knife around the squash.
2. Set the squash on your cutting board on the squash’s side. Peel from the top to the bottom, turning the squash as you peel.
3. Cut the squash at the neck and set the bottom part to the side. Cut the neck in half lengthwise. Cut the halved neck into 2-inch half-rings, and then cut into 2-inch cubed pieces.
4. Cut the bottom of the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh with a spoon. Save the seeds if you want to roast them. Slice the halved bottom into 2-inch half-rings, and then cut into 2-inch cubed pieces.