Creamy Butternut Squash Soup… this is what talked me into becoming a macrobiotic chef! It is sweet, savory, comforting, and delicious! As a child, the only way I saw butternut squash cooked was in a baked casserole with sour cream, onions, and a corn flake topping. I didn’t like it. But when I tried this soup, I was in heaven! I have recently revised this recipe to include a long, slow caramelization of onion, carrot, and celery (mirepoix) at the beginning, which gives the soup a very sweet, complex, and delicious flavor.
By Pigup – I made the mirepoix at home and took a picture of it on my cell phone., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18688674
Creamy vegetable soups help stabilize blood sugar levels, so help prevent sugar cravings when eaten regularly. When using organic squash, there is no need to remove the skin. This makes it much faster to make, and adds beneficial dietary fiber. These days, finding food that is naturally sweet and nutritious is so important, to nourish the body while curbing cravings for refined sugar. I recently listened to a news story on NPR’s “Here & Now” about how the food industry engineers processed and prepared food items (including pasta sauce, yogurt, and other processed foods not thought to be “sugary”) so that they reach a person’s “bliss point.” Children are especially susceptible to getting hooked on these foods since they are naturally attracted to the sweet taste (which is needed for growth in mild, natural forms). Try making this soup for your children, and try substituting other vegetables for the butternut squash, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, or sweet potato. It makes a great kids’ lunchbox item when carried in a thermos.
The only trick with making this soup is learning how to cut the squash without cutting yourself. You need a good, sharp chef knife and a large cutting board. I suggest trimming off the stem, cutting off the “neck” of the squash, then cutting the resulting pieces (neck and bulb) in half so that you have four pieces you can put down flat on the board. From there you can remove the seeds from the bulbous part of the squash and chop the squash into small pieces.
Enjoy this soup and try some of the variations suggested at the bottom of the recipe. They are all delicious!
- 1 cup yellow onion, finely diced
- ½ cup carrot, finely diced
- ½ cup celery, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- pinch sea salt
- 5 cups butternut squash, seeded and cubed
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 3 cups spring or filtered water or light vegetable stock
- 5 fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly (chiffonade)
- sea salt, to taste
- ¼ cup organic pumpkin seeds, toasted, for garnish
- In a 4-quart soup pot, sauté onion and pinch of sea salt in olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent.
- Add carrot and celery and another pinch of sea salt. Sauté another 15 minutes, until vegetables start to caramelize.
- Add butternut squash and rosemary and coat with onion mixture. Add enough water or vegetable stock to barely cover the squash (about 3 cups), cover, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and cover. Simmer until squash is soft, about 10-15 minutes.
- Puree with blender or immersion blender. If soup is too thick, add a little more water or vegetable stock. Season to taste with sea salt.
- Simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.
- If using vegetable stock, try to find one without tomatoes (such as Imagine brand Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth) or make your own, to avoid overpowering the flavor of the squash.
- Substitute kabocha squash for butternut squash. The color will be darker but it is very delicious.
- Substitute carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, sweet potato, or sweet corn for the butternut squash.
- Use herbs and spices of choice instead of rosemary, such as thyme, basil, or fresh ginger.
- Roast butternut squash tossed in olive oil and sea salt in 425 degree F oven until soft. Add to sautéed onions and proceed with recipe.