I love making soup, and this butternut squash soup is probably the best that I make. I originally found the recipe in Joy of Cooking and have been adapting, tweaking and making it my own over the years. The great thing about this soup is that it can easily be made vegan-friendly with one small substitution.
For the Soup
1 medium to large butternut squash
3 tbsp olive oil
½ large sweet onion, chopped
4 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 cups low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make it vegan)
pinch of kosher salt
For the Garnish
2 tsp olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375º and place a rack in the centre of the oven.
- Split the squash in half length-wise on a cutting board with a wet cloth underneath the board for added stability. Use a large, sharp knife and keep your fingers well out of the way. Remove the strings and seeds with a spoon, keep the seeds.
- Place the squash halves (or quarters if it is quite large) cut side up on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, brush lightly with olive oil and season with salt.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the squash is soft and easily pierced with a knife.
- While the squash is baking prepare the seeds by rinsing them in water, trying to remove as much of the squash strings as possible – you won’t be able to get them completely clean, and that’s fine.
- Place the seeds on a paper towel and rub them gently to clean them up a little bit more. Remove them from the paper towel and leave them on the cutting board to dry. They can become stuck to the paper towel and be quite difficult to remove if left to dry on it.
- When the squash is done baking, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool. Turn the oven down to 325º.
- Mix the olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and toss with the seeds. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the over for 10 minutes – I like to stir them up half way through to separate any that may have been stuck together.
- While the seeds are roasting, heat your olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat, chop your onion and mince your ginger.
- Add the onion and ginger to the pot and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft but not browned.
- Remove the skin from the cooled squash – I like to peel it like I would a celeriac – and chop the flesh into large chunks. Add the squash to the pot along with the chicken or vegetable broth.
- Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring often and breaking up the squash.
- Puree the soup with a stick blender (or in a regular blender or food processor) until beautifully smooth. Season with salt. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add an addition 1-2 cups of broth and heat through.
- Serve garnished with the roasted seeds and some fresh ground black pepper.
All photos by me.