The hardest part about this recipe is peeling the squash, the best part; it’s delicious, can be served hot, warm or cold, freezes well and is soooo good for you. The soup has a velvety texture but is butter and cream free - so enjoy that second bowl! (Vegan, gluten and soy free, low GI.)
Specific benefits: An increasing number of animal studies now show that the starch-related components in winter squash have very high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties. Applies are high in polyphenols and have antioxidant and cardiovascular benefits and help regulate blood sugar.
Tips for peeling the squash:
Use a large, sharp chef’s knife. Cut off both stem and root end of squash. Cut squash in half lengthwise and widthwise. Peel each quarter with OXO or a Swiss style peeler. Scoop out seeds after peeling.
For easier peeling: Par boil squash (whole) in a large pot of boiling water for 6 minutes. Remove from water, let it cool before peeling.
For no peeling: Purchase squash already peeled and cut.
(I’ve never made this soup with frozen squash or with the peel left on. If you try either of these methods, let me know your results.)
Serves 4 - 6
One large or 2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2” cubes
1 med – large yellow onion, rough chop
1 – 2 carrots, peeled and rough chop
1-2 ribs of celery, rough chop
2 large green apples, cored, peeled and chopped into large pieces
3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 cup water
2 TBL canola oil
Salt and pepper (white pepper if you have it, black if not) to taste
¼ tsp or more cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne (can increase quantities to taste)
Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat, add onion, sweat onion for 3 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t brown, add carrot and celery, stir occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Add squash, apple, stock and water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until vegetables are tender, (about 15-20 minutes). You should be able to pierce a piece of squash with a knife easily. Place soup in blender in batches and blend till smooth (or use an immersion blender). Put soup back into Dutch oven (that’s been wiped out). Add seasonings to taste, careful not to over season as sweetness in soup and other flavors will “settle.” Serve warm or chilled.
(For company, I dust the top of each bowl of soup with an extra pinch of coarse sea salt, cayenne and cinnamon just before serving. The picture shows some chopped fresh basil which is a nice touch for garnish and a pop of color.)