Fall is undeniably my favorite change in all the seasons. It’s the beginning of the holiday season and cherished time with loved ones -full of bright leaves, chilly days, warm sweaters… And soup. Hot, rich, delicious soup.
Soup has to be my ultimate go-to for comfort food when the temperature starts dropping and leaves start changing. It takes me back to my childhood: Eight years old, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket at the kitchen table; peering out the window into a fluffy white Ohio winter, while spirals of steam rise from a piping hot bowl of soup in front of me.
So today, I wanted to share one of my favorite comfort soup recipes with you -a savory, butternut squash soup. Ingredients in this dish are very easily interchangeable to fit the needs of both the dairy-lovers and vegans alike (because everyone deserves a good bowl of soup). 🙂
Savory Butternut Squash Soup
- 2 Cups butternut squash, pureed
- 4 Cloves of fresh garlic
- 1 Onion, finely minced
- 1 Cup Milk (or Almond Milk)
- 1 Tbsp Basil
- 1 Tbsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 Tbsp Garlic Salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Pinch of Chili Powder
- 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded (optional)
- Extra Virgin Olive Old or Coconut Oil
Begin by preparing your butternut squash. (I like to prepare several squash at once and then freeze what I don’t use -then it’s easy to whip out, thaw and throw a batch of soup together in a pinch.) Cut the squash in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds (bonus tip: butternut squash seeds are delicious when you salt then and toss them in the over for about 10 minutes.). Place your squash halves in a microwave safe container with about half an inch of water. Cover and microwave for 10-12 minutes, or until squash is tender. Scrape squash out of shell and transfer to a food processor or blender and puree, adding a small splash of water if needed to blend smoothly.
In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, cumin, ginger with a splash of cooking oil until onions are soft and brown. Add nutritional yeast and cook another 3-5 minutes to set the flavor. Add squash, basil and oregano, stirring continually to keep mixture from burning until well blended. Add milk, chili powder, pepper and garlic salt and stir until combined.
If you want a smoother consistency (or to hide onions from picky eaters), you can puree the soup in a food processor or blender before it fully heats up after adding the milk. Then pour the soup back into your pot and heat to a gentle bubble, stirring continually. Mix in cheese.
If you can’t find nutritional yeast (a vegan-friendly substitute for producing a nutty, cheesy flavor), you can always double the amount of parmesan if you really want to take the cheesiness to the next level. You can also nix the cheese and increase your nutritional yeast levels if you aren’t a fan of dairy.
This recipe yields about 2-3 heaping servings of soup.
All writing and images copyright © 2015 Rachel Elise Weems Woods