This soup or a variation of it has become a fall staple in my house. It had been a while since I’d made it, but a client of mine handed over a couple of giant squashes so I got to work!
Get a loaf of crusty Italian bread and you barely even need a spoon. This can be vegan or not — depending on what kind of stock, butter, etc. you use. It really is simple and delicious. You can doctor it up in any way you like — maybe add a little curry for kick. Add extra spices or herbs to it. This is a hard one to mess up!
• 1 butternut squash (2-3 pounds), peeled and seeded
• 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I go with Earth Balance Buttery Spread, any variety)
• 1 medium onion, chopped/diced
• 6 c. vegetable stock OR (what I prefer) about 3 c. stock and 1 can coconut milk
• salt and pepper
1. Cut squash into 1-inch chunks. You can always buy frozen or pre-cut butternut squash (sweet potatoes would work here too, by the way), but I don’t find it all that difficult to peel. I just cut it in half or into manageable pieces, then slice off the skin with a good, sturdy knife. From there I slice and chop in various ways to try to make roughly 1- to 2-inch cubes. It’s all getting pureed eventually, so no need to be exact. You just want it small enough that it will cook easily and quickly.
2. Melt butter in pot. May use half butter and half oil if you like, too.
3. Add onion and cook until translucent. I think I may have added a clove or two of minced garlic at this point as well. Now is also when I would add a little curry paste or powder if I were using it.
4. Add squash and stock (I believe the stock was covering the chunks appropriately, so I held off on adding the coconut milk until later).
5. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Remove squash chunks with a slotted spoon and puree in a blender. OR you can go the easy way — like me — and use your handy immersion blender. I use this regularly for soups, so I think it’s definitely worth the investment. I was given a Cuisinart one, which you can get for about $25 on Amazon.
7. Return squash to pot if you used regular blender. Add coconut milk until well blended, then stir and season with a few dashes of nutmeg and the salt and pepper.
8. Heat through and enjoy! This soup only takes about 30 minutes to make and is oh, so comforting. This one is totally doable even for those of you who “can’t” cook. Give it a try!