Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

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During the winter, I like making large batches of soup that my family and I can enjoy all week long or frozen for a later date. Butternut Squash soup is one of my favorite soups. Its comforting in all the right ways. Not only is it deliciously creamy with out any dairy, it is also high in nutrition. The health benefits of Butternut squash are plenty. It is high in Potassium and Fiber which promotes Heart health and good digestion. This squash also contains high levels of Vitamin C. Which is powerful antioxidant linked to great skin and a healthier Immune system. A one cup serving of Butternut squash contains 350% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A. Which is extraordinary, because Vitamin A (another  powerful antioxidant) is vital to protecting our eyes against Macular Degeneration.

There are several ways to make this soup but I prefer roasting my Butternut squash in either cubes or just cut in half. Roasting any veggie is a sure fire way of increasing depth of flavor that can only be achieved by caramelization. Drizzle with good Extra Virgin Olive olive, kosher salt, cracked pepper and spices. Then your squash is ready for a roast.

After the prepping of the squash, this soups comes together quick and easy. Place everything in pot and puree with a stick blender. If you don’t own a stick blender, let me tell you, this is a piece of equipment you should own. They’re small, affordable and a very handy appliance to have. Or just pour the mixture into a good blender and puree. I love using my Vitamix , because , not only does it purée to a silky smooth consistency. It also reheats everything .

I will say that this is not typical Butternut squash soup, this one is kicked up with some Latin spice, and toasted Pepitas to add some crunch and texture. Then, finished with just a swoosh of Plain Coconut yogurt or Greek yogurt to cool the spicy notes that encompass this heart warming soup.

I hope you’ll enjoy my kicked up version of this healthy , delicious and vegan friendly soup.


Spicy Roasted Butternut squash soup with toasted Pepitas

Makes 10 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 large Butternut squashes, cut in half vertically and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons of extra Virgin Olive oil , plus 1 more tablespoon for sautéing
  • 2 tablespoon of Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked Paprika
  • 2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of Tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sage, dried or fresh
  • 6 cloves of peeled garlic
  • 1 sweet onion or two Leeks, cleaned and trimmed
  • 3 ribs of Celery, diced
  • 8 cups of Vegetable stock ( can use chicken stock)
  • 1 teaspoon of Cracked Black pepper
  • 1 cup of Salted Pepitas
  • 1 cup of plain Coconut or Greek Yogurt
  • more salt for final seasoning

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Split two Butternut squashes in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Place on sheet pan, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of good Olive oil and season with a good pinch of salt, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and sage. Place peeled garlic cloves into each seed cavity of the Butternut squash and cover with foil.
  3. Roast in the oven for 1 hour or till fork tender
  4. Chop Onion or Leeks and celery into a rough dice; no need to be perfect as everything will be pureed.
  5. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoon of remaining Olive oil. Sautee onion mixture for 3 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Once the Butternut squash has cooled enough to handle, scape out the flesh and add to stock pot with veggies. Discard skins.
  7. Add 8 cups of stock and simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat
  8. Puree soup using a submergible Stick blender or puree in blender till completely smooth. ‘
  9. Tip: when using a blender be careful not to over fill the pitcher. The soup will be very hot. Use caution and work in batches
  10. Taste soup an adjust for personal seasoning preference. You may prefer it saltier or with a it more spice.
  11. In a dry sauté pan add 1 cup of pepitas and toast in pan over a medium flame. Making sure to continuously move the pan around for about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt (optional) and remove from heat to cool
  12. Ladle 1-2 cups of soup into a bowl, top with a dollop of  yogurt and sprinkle with toasted Pepitas and extra Paprika or Cayenne.
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