Not long ago I discovered a really great chicken recipe that I highly recommend you try. The chicken is coated in a sauce made of mustard and maple syrup and then baked. Even if you don't like mustard, you should try this because the cooking process transforms the sharp, yellow mustard sauce into something mellow and tangy and just a little bit sweet.
So, why am I talking about chicken? What's that got to do with butternut squash soup? You'll see.
For this recipe, you are going to need to roast at least two butternut squashes. Start by slicing the squash lengthwise and scooping the seeds out of the bottom.
Then place the squash halves cut-side down in a couple of glass baking dishes, and roast them at 400 degrees Farenheit for about an hour, or until you can pierce them easily with a fork, and they look brown and caramelized on the edges.
Let them cool a bit, and then scoop out all the cooked pulp. (I often stop here and finish making the soup another day. The pulp will keep well in the fridge for a few days. Otherwise, you can get started on the rest of your soup while the squash is cooking... )
First, saute a large chopped onion in an oiled skillet. When the onion turns translucent, add two cloves of chopped garlic and continue cooking for another couple of minutes.
Next add to the skillet about 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, garlic powder, paprika, cinnamon and salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Stir these into the onion and garlic mixture, and cook for about another minute. Then stir in the butternut squash.
After your veggies and spices are all stirred together and nicely warmed, you could add 2 cups of chicken broth, and that would be just fine, but I've got a better idea:
Remember that chicken recipe I recommended? If you tried it, you should have some quantity of leftover pan juices -- tangy, meaty, herb-infused deliciousness -- that brings quite a bit more to the party than just ordinary chicken broth. If so, add enough chicken broth to that to make 2 full cups, and go with it. (You're so smart!)
Cool down your mixture a bit, and then run it though a blender until it is smooth. Add more broth if you prefer a thinner texture.
I like to serve this soup with a dollop of coconut creme and a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds. It is creamy, slightly tangy, and just a tiny bit sweet, with a little bit of heat that sneaks up on you.
Butternut Squash Soup
2 large butternut squashes
1 large chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups chicken broth **
Coconut crème (optional)
Toasted sunflower seeds (optional)
** An even better option is to use pan juices from
the tangy baked chicken recipe found at http://grannyfab.blogspot.com/2015/09/desperation-chicken.html
1. Slice the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place cut-side-down in a dry glass baking dish and roast at 400F for about an hour until tender.
2. Cool slightly, then scoop out and reserve the cooked pulp.
3. Saute the onion in a skillet until translucent. Add garlic and saute a minute more.
4. Add the spices to the skillet and heat until fragrant.
5. Add the cooked squash pulp to the skillet and stir to combine.
6. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and stir to combine.
7. Cool the mixture slightly, and transfer to a blender. Process until smooth.
8. Add more broth by tablespoons if a thinner texture is desired.
9. Reheat if necessary to serve hot.
10. Optional, serve with a dollop of coconut crème and a garnish of toasted sesame seeds.