It seems like every restaurant I go into these chilly winter days has butternut squash soup on its menu.
Since many restaurants are still fairly meat-centric, it’s a tempting alternative.
But then I need to quiz the server about whether it is made with dairy . . . or chicken stock.
It’s always amazing to me that servers will insist that something is vegetarian (or vegan), until I ask them to please go back and check with the chef. Too many times to count, they come back and tell me that the soup contains butter, cream, and/or chicken stock.
Well, it is ridiculously easy to make your own fresh organic butternut squash soup – and for a whole lot less than six bucks per bowl that you’ll pay in a restaurant!
After receiving an enormous 7 lb. organic butternut squash in my weekly produce delivery from Absolute Organics, I wondered what on earth I was going to do with such a monster! It turned out that the squash’s long neck turned out to be about 3.5 lbs. – the perfect amount for making my soup.
Using the long neck of the squash also had the advantage providing a lot of delicious usable flesh – without the seeds and stringy fibers contained in the bulb of the squash. (Please don’t think I let the bulb go to waste – a couple days after my soup making, I peeled and cleaned the bulb, sliced it up, and roasted it in the oven with a little olive oil, chocolate balsamic vinegar, a touch of maple syrup, and nutmeg. It was delectable!)
I used my Cuisinart Cook Central for maximum ease, sautéing the onions, apples, and squash in Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread (for a vegan version) or unsalted organic butter (if I’m making a vegetarian version). I use either Imagine Organic No-Chicken Vegetarian Broth or Earth Fare Organic Vegetable Broth as my liquid, and let it slow cook on low a couple of hours. A spin in my Cuisinart food processor, a touch of salt and pepper, and maybe a sprinkling of roasted unsalted pepitas for color and crunch.
That’s it! No need for wine, cream, spices, or sweeteners like maple syrup or honey. Just let the simple, clean taste of the squash, onions, and apples shine through in your soup.
Oh, and I guess if you want to be a wee bit decadent, you can garnish each bowl with a little Organic Valley Sour Cream, or keep it vegan with Follow Your Heart Organic Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream.
And if you have kids, maybe you can personalize each bowl with their initial. Check out the ragged “N” below!
Either way, your family will enjoy a delicious, healthy, made from scratch soup with minimal effort on your part, and a few simple organic ingredients.
I hope you enjoy this organic vegan butternut soup as much as we did!
- 1 large organic onion, chopped
- 2 organic apples, peeled and chopped (Fuji, Johnagold, or Golden Delicious)
- 3-4 lbs of organic butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 3 tablespoons Earth Balance Organic Buttery Spread or unsalted organic butter
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 cups organic vegetarian broth (see headnote above)
- Roasted organic pepitos (optional)
- Organic sour cream or vegan sour cream (optional)
- Using either a large soup pot or slow cooker with a sauté function, melt the vegan buttery spread or unsalted butter, and saute the chopped opinions over low heat for about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the chopped apples, and saute a couple minutes, before adding the squash and sautéing a few more minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Add the organic broth or stock, and cover. If you are using a slow cooker, set it to low for anywhere from 3-5 hours (this is an incredibly flexible recipe). If you are using a soup pot, you need to turn the heat low, and cook until the squash is very tender.
- Let it cool. Working in batches, process it in your food processor or blender until silky smooth. (You can also use an immersion blender, but I don't like to do that in the slow cooker, because it can scratch the bottom - so be careful if you chose to use one!)
- Taste and adjust seasoning, and thin with a tiny bit of stock if you think it is too thick.
- Reheat gently, and serve in bowls, either by itself, or garnished with pepitas and/or sour cream.
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