This year, my new year’s resolution is what I’m calling “Sunday Soups.” The idea is to make a soup on Sunday (or thereabouts) and have it for lunch during the week. The goal is manyfold: Get back to soups, which I’ve neglected (my boyfriend categorically does not like soups. Yeah, I don’t understand it either and I’m through fighting about it); have reliable foods around for lunch during the week, so I don’t spend loads of money buying every day; be a bit healthier/less inclined to overeat by having a portioned amount of a delicious soup I made myself; and to help in my new goal of reducing my wheat intake (for health reasons more than anything). A few weeks ago I showed you my chicken soup—this week I made roasted butternut squash!
This soup could not be easier. I cut up a medium-sized butternut and half a giant onion, tossed them with a handful of baby carrots, and a few cloves of garlic (in their skin), olive oil, ground thyme, a pinch of white pepper, a pinch of salt, one bay leaf, a mere pinch of red pepper flakes, and a teeny bit of brown sugar, and roasted it all at 400 for about 30 minutes, until the onions were fully caramelized and the squash was cooked through. Above you can see the before and after for the veggies.
Dumped all of it in the food processor (wait! I squeezed the roasted garlic out of its skins first, of course, and trashed the bay leaf), and pureed it with a touch of warmed chicken stock until it was a nice smooth puree. That was too thick for a soup, but there wasn’t any room left in the food processor, so I transferred it to a bowl and whisked in additional chicken stock (4 cups total) until it was nice and liquid. Still thick, but also easily poured—not gloopy at all. I know it’ll thicken a bit upon standing, and I don’t want to feel like I’m eating squash pudding. Hopefully this picture captures the consistency.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
makes about 3 servings (6 cups of soup total)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeded (roast those seeds for a snack!)
½ large white onion (or, you know, one small. this onion was the size of a softball to start)
7 baby carrots
3 large cloves garlic, in their skins
1 teaspoon ground thyme
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used chipotle pepper flakes)
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
4 cups stock (chicken or veggie; I bet it’d be tasty with plain water too)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil (to save cleanup time). Cut the squash and onion into pieces just a bit bigger than the baby carrots, and toss all the veggies and spices (through bay leaf) with the olive oil. Transfer to the prepared sheet and spread into a single layer. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Roast in the oven, stirring every now and then, for about 30 minutes, or until caramelized and the squash is cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat the stock in a pot and keep warm.
Transfer the roasted veggies to a food processor, squeezing the garlic out of its skin and discarding the skin, plus removing the bay leaf, and process until smooth, adding stock by ¼-cupfuls until the puree is completely smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and slowly whisk in the remaining stock. If serving immediately, transfer to a pot and heat until hot; season to taste if necessary. Otherwise, transfer to your containers for taking to work! You could garnish with yogurt or sour cream, and I bet it would be delicious, but I didn’t think it was necessary when I had a bowlful.