When autumn arrives and the weather turns cool, my thoughts go to my favourite comfort foods. They’re simple to make, healthy for the body and soul and well, comforting. Butternut squash is one of my fave autumn simple comforts. I love it roasted, mashed, in soup…add some maple syrup and spices and perfection!
Because I’m usually cooking for one, I like meals to be simple to prepare. The simpler the better!
I believe the simplest meals are the ones that are the most natural and have fresh ingredients. Most of what I cook for myself has to be as clean as possible because I have a few allergies and intolerances. This means it’s preferably vegetarian, with no dairy, no gluten and the least amount of sugar possible.
As much as I would love to go full-on vegan, sadly, I’m allergic to a lot of alternatives. Hemp seeds I’m looking at you! And I love eggs too much. We’ll see…I may make the switch.
Now, I know there are many versions of butternut soup on the internet, but this is one I’ve made before (based on this Canadian Living recipe) — with a few tweaks. I love it and if you’re craving simple and satisfying comfort food this autumn, I promise you’ll love this one.
I love the nutty, caramelized flavour of roasted squash, so of course, that’s where this soup starts. Plus, it removes the painstaking activity of having to cut, cube and peel the squash. If you’ve ever done this (or attempted to), this recipe will make you uber happy. Trying to cut squash is like battling with cutting down a ferocious weed that fights back. It’s tough and hard to cut through. Of course, you’ll still have to cut the squash in half, but at least it removes the pain of cubing and peeling. I usually roast the squash ahead of time, usually in the morning the day of making the soup. Simply roast, let cool, and then scoop the roasted flesh out into a bowl and refrigerate.
You can make this soup ahead and reheat it as needed. For me, it’s perfect for a week’s worth of soup for lunches or to take to my part-time job for a simple, on-the-go meal.
This soup is gluten-free and dairy-free as I’ve got a few allergies I do my best to avoid the side effects of. I prefer to make it with organic chicken broth but you can also use vegetable broth (or cubes) if you’re vegetarian. Sadly, I haven’t found a vegetable broth that enhances the squash. I find many vegetable broths to be mostly tomato and rather sweet. It’s just not the same.
If you prefer some extra creaminess to the soup, you can add some coconut cream in place of heavy cream. I don’t add any cream at all – alternative or not.
I use shallots in place of regular yellow onions. They add a wonderful flavour. That’s the Parisian in me!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
A simple and classic roasted butternut squash soup, flavoured with ginger, curry and garlic. A great fall soup for the holidays. Perfect for on the go! Can be made ahead and reheated.
1 medium butternut squash (approx. 3 pounds) or 4-5 cups roasted squash
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken broth (I use organic and unsalted)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and cut into tiny cubes
Thyme for garnish
To roast the squash (you can do this ahead and refrigerate): Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise (use a large chef’s knife). Using a spoon, scoop out and discard the seeds and dark orange stringy flesh. Place squash in a glass baking dish. You can put them face up so they caramelize and turn golden. Roast in the oven for 60-70 minutes or until very soft. Test with a fork or knife; it should easy to insert and the flesh soft.
Once cooked, remove from oven and let cool. Using a spoon, scoop all the roasted squash flesh out and into a bowl, being careful not to take any of the skin. Discard squash skins. If you’re making the soup immediately, measure out the amount of cooked squash needed for the soup and set aside. Any extra squash can be refrigerated or frozen and used for another time.
To make the soup: In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Fry shallots, garlic, ginger, curry powder, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until softened and shallots are translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the measured roasted squash. Add the chicken broth; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Using an immersion blender (or alternatively in small batches in a blender) puree the soup until smooth.
Taste soup. Add additional salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. You don’t want to be skimpy with the salt! Salting well is the key to bringing out all the great flavours in this soup. Serve warm garnished with fresh thyme leaves.
This soup is simply wonderful. From the scent of roasting squash filling your kitchen to the wonderful spiced flavour of the soup, it makes a great meal for a cool autumn day. You can also cook up some brown rice, add it to the soup and make a complete meal with protein and fibre.