With all the good food I’ve tried from around the world, I find no other country is quite as proud and excited about pumpkins and squash as the U.S. I am so glad when fall comes around because it means squash soups, candied yams, pumpkin risotto, pumpkin loaves, the list goes on! This is a basic butternut squash soup that only requires a few vegetables and tastes great. No sugar is added, but the soup is slightly sweet from the natural caramelization of the squash when it’s roasted. It’s one of my favorite soups for this reason alone. With a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, this velvety treat seems more like an indulgence than a healthy soup. It serves as a great appetizer for your Thanksgiving dinner, or as a light and healthy meal.
Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
1 butternut squash
1 small onion
1-2 celery stalks
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons trans fat free margarine
4 cups water
1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wash and using a large sharp knife, slice the butternut squash in half length-wise. Use caution as the butternut squash is thick skinned with an uneven bottom. If you have trouble cutting it or feel uncomfortable to do so, put the whole butternut squash in the oven and cut after the squash softens in the oven. Roast the squash for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender to a fork.
2. While squash is roasting, wash and chop the onion, celery stalks, and carrot. Then, sauté in a large pot for about 5 minutes. Set aside until squash is ready. Add the bay leaf.
3. Once squash is tender, let cool for a few minutes and carefully scoop out the flesh with two forks or spoons and place directly into the large pot with the vegetables. Add 4 cups water, or the minimum needed just to cover the vegetables and squash. Simmer the soup for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. If more liquid is needed to thin the soup, add only a couple tablespoons at a time. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt or sour cream and a sprig of basil, parsley, chives, or any fresh herb you have on hand. I would recommend adding crunch too with pumpkin seeds, whole wheat crackers, or pine nuts.
For the immersion blender I recommend, click here to buy