Its that funny time of year again that straddles between the tail end of winter and the emergence of spring. With the seasons and temperature changing from peaks to valleys with seemingly each hour, I find myself at times in a conundrum about what I want to cook and eat from day-to-day. Something cool and refreshing, or something warm and soothing? How about both!

Enter this scrumptious, creamy butternut squash soup, which is equally as delicious served warm or cold depending on your mood. This recipe is jacked up with extreme vegetable goodness, and though I prefer to use butter for my roux and a little sour cream or Greek yogurt as a topper to add creaminess, this could easily be a vegetarian meal stocked full of essential vitamins without the cream and with a butter substitute, such as Earth Balance spread, which my vegtastic roomie Kiran uses on the regular. And, this recipe also includes a bit of apple for taste, which could be amped up for a delightfully cool and refreshing soup on a warm summer day.

On top of all that, because the creaminess of the soup is derived from the main veggie itself, you will swear you are eating something that is sinful, when indeed it is not! What could be better, I ask? My kind of recipe. And if you like to cook ahead and stockpile the freezer for easy, healthy meals like I do, this soup freezes quite beautifully.

Creamy Butternut Squash, Carrot, and Apple Soup

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 10-12 servings

Creamy Butternut Squash, Carrot, and Apple Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh organic butternut squash, pre-cubed
  • 1 small/medium Fuji apple, peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 2 large organic celery stalks, cleaned and diced
  • 5 small carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter or Butter Substitute (half stick, or less if preferred)
  • 1 32oz. container, low sodium chicken or veggie broth
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Pinch (1/2 teaspoon)of cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of seasoned salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add butter to large stock pot and begin melting on very low heat setting. Once melted, add onion and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cook for about five-eight minutes until the onions have softened, or "sweated." (This will make the taste of both much milder for the recipe, taking away that harsh bite and aftertaste, and will also serve as the base for our roux.)
  3. Mix in carrots and cook for about five more minutes, just to soften them a bit, then add flour and stir thoroughly until mixture is covered. This should resemble somewhat of a paste, which is your roux, used to thicken the soup. (Flour is optional if you are cooking gluten-free.)
  4. Add chicken or veggie broth (both are equally as delicious) and butternut squash. I prefer the Pacific or Kitchen Essentials brand broths, but whatever you have available will do! Add a pinch of seasoned salt if you have it. This isn't necessary, but I like the kick of flavor it provides. I also like to add a small pinch of cinnamon, just enough to add a little depth of flavor, but not overpowering.
  5. Stir mixture, and cover. Continue to simmer on low heat for about 20-25 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together. Check occasionally to make sure that the mixture does not boil. Remove cover if the temperature gets too hot, depending on your stove.
  6. Once simmering is done, remove pot from heat, add in the apple and stir. Use an immersion blender to thoroughly puree all of the ingredients in the pot to a smooth consistency. If you don't have an immersion blender, transfer to a traditional blender blender or food processor. You may want to let the mixture cool a bit if using a glass blender so that it doesn't crack.
  7. Once pureed, return to low heat and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, allowing ingredients to meld together. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, or croutons for a little crunch.
  8. If you prefer to eat this cold, let the soup cool, place in Tupperware containers and then into the fridge. Once cooled, its ready to eat and easy to grab as a vitamin packed snack or meal!
http://www.delectabelle.com/2013/02/creamy-butternut-squash-carrot-and-apple-soup/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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