I could definitely have used this soup, say, last month, or even last week, when it was snowing out. It’s rich, creamy, savory, and perfect for those cozy couch evenings when you just want to wrap yourself in a blanket and cradle a large, warm bowl of soup.
Well, here in New York, it’s finally getting warmer, so instead of coming home after work, turning the thermostat way up, and taking Roscoe out quickly, I opened all the windows and went for a long walk on the beach with the Roski. He made about seven new friends because everybody seemed to be outside, taking advantage of some beautiful weather – finally. It’s definitely starting to feel like spring – which makes me think of spring cleaning – and what better way to clean our bodies than to nourish ourselves with wholesome, nutritious food?
Butternut squash is a perfect star to cast in this pretty simple soup; it naturally creates a smooth, buttery texture without adding much to it. This powerhouse vegetable is loaded with plenty of healthy goodness. Its rich source of dietary fiber helps lower cholesterol, and since it’s packed with antioxidants like beta-carotene (which the body converts to vitamin A), your skin, eyes, and lungs (among others) will thank you. Some other things worth mentioning about this vegetable are that it helps the nervous and immune system, reduces the risk of inflammation, and may lower blood pressure.
I think Jerry Seinfeld would agree that this is definitely a meal. It isn’t an appetizer kind of soup. It’s hearty, and the addition of pumpkin seeds (or the seeds from the squash) adds an extra boost of plant protein and texture, which I love in any meal.
- 1 (3 to 3.5 pound) butternut squash
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 yellow onion chopped (makes 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1-2 sprigs, fresh)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- topping: pumpkin seeds and chives (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the squash into 1 inch circles; then cut off the skin and remove the pulp and seeds. (I like to save the seeds to roast them later.)
- Cut the circles into 1 inch cubes and place on a baking sheet.
- Add 1/8 cup of the olive oil to the squash along with the rosemary, thyme and salt and pepper. Toss together and place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Let’s turn to the stove now and begin to prepare the broth. Place the heat on medium-high.
- Heat the remaining oil (1/8 cup) in a large pot.
- Add the diced onion and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes, adding a pinch more salt and pepper.
- Add the vegetable broth and allow the flavors to blend on medium heat.
- After 20 minutes in the oven, remove the squash and add to the broth.
- Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is tender.
- Afterwards, add the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Transfer soup to a blender and blend all ingredients.
Makes 10 cups – bon appétit!