Now that the cold weather is officially sweeping in, I’ve started my winter soup production (you may remember the delicious lentil stew that I blogged about last winter). When it’s chilly outside, I like to have a variety of soups on hand in the freezer as a quick option to augment a meal or just as a snack. In the fall and winter months, many people have a harder time incorporating lots of vegetables into their daily diets. While summer produce seems to call out to us, winter’s chill can make hot cocoa and cookies so much more appealing. I find that a hot mug of soup can be a very satisfying, and warming alternative, and if it’s vegetable heavy you get a few extra servings of vegetables; a win – win!
With all of the beautiful squash that is currently in the market, I decided to make a roasted butternut squash soup this week. Roasting the squash before puréeing it into the soup gives it a deeper more complex flavor that is fantastic. Roasting also keeps the hands-on watch-the-stove time to a minimum and makes your kitchen smell delicious!
I started with a large butternut squash which I peeled and cubed, and also added three large onions that were peeled and quartered. I tossed them together with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper before putting into a 450 degree oven. They roasted for about 50 minutes with a quick stir in the middle of cooking.
I then put the squash and onions into a pot with four cups of warm chicken broth. I let the flavors meld a bit, then blended them all together and checked for seasoning. If the soup seems a little too thick at this point, you can simply add some more broth or water until it is the right consistency. This is one of those deceptively simple recipes that have an endless number of possibilities to change up the flavors. I have done this same idea with any combination of roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, shallots, beets, carrots, and anything else that looks good in the market and seems to work well together. The seasoning can be changed up with cumin, curry, cinnamon, garlic, paprika, red pepper, and many more.
I like to ladle the soup into single serving plastic containers and put them in the freezer; when I want some soup, I run the container under warm water until the frozen soup can easily be popped out and put into a microwave safe bowl. Bon appétit!