A good for you, low fat & yummy butternut squash soup, yup!
This is one of those recipes that marks the start of fall for our household. It's a rare combination of comfort food and health food; a winner! I generally make it with non-fat "College Inn" chicken broth because personally, I can't taste the difference in this recipe and I prefer a lighter substitute to heavy cream. All the luxurious richness comes from a good whirl in the blender!
One time, I made this soup as an appetizer for a family event and went off the reservation- I didn't "measure!" BIG MISTAKE. I got a little over zealous with the ginger and ended up tossing the entire batch into the trash, so as to avoid ginger-burns on the tongues of the entire Nicastro clan (my maiden name). Needless to say, I learned my ginger lesson the hard way, as did that poor, discarded butternut squash. Bottom line, MEASURE your ginger, please, unless you're like my girl, Pinch, in which case you probably just know...
Here's what you'll need:
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- Use a microplane to get it as minced as possible. If you don't have a microplane, eventually you'll need one but, peel slices off with a potato peeler then chop/mince as finely as possible.
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 flat tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups, chopped onion
- 2 small butternut squash (about 4 lbs total- pre-cut)
- 4 1/2 cups of chicken broth if you like your soup thick
- 5 1/2-6 cups if you prefer a thinner soup
Toppings vary but, I like to use:
- Creme Fraiche
- Toasted pine nuts
- toast in toaster oven at 400 with some kosher salt, until light brown
- Sage leaves
- saute in butter until a little crispy
Pre-heat your oven to 370, cut your squash in half (be careful) and take the seeds out. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake for about 40-45 minutes until soft. Take it out of the oven and let it cool before you peel and chop it up.
In a heavy dutch oven or large sauce pan, heat up your vegetable oil and add onion, garlic, cinnamon, brown sugar & ginger in the pan. Cover it and let it cook for 10-15 minutes, stir occasionally but, keep the top on.
After you peel your squash, cut it up into 2-3 inch pieces and pop it into the party in the pot. Then, add the broth. Cover it again, let it simmer on medium heat for another 10-15 minutes.
All of this, in small batches will need to run through your blender but, keep in mind you never want to blend HOT liquid. Let it cool down before you put it in the blender (not kidding) I think every one I know that's tried this has a story about being covered in burning hot liquid, there's no reason for that, just let it cool down a bit. You can put it back on the stove and re-heat it before you serve it once it's blended.
Be safe and enjoy! :)