This is a truly all-time favorite recipe.
I know I say that a lot. But this is so true.
The original version and inspiration for this recipe is Cooking Light’s Golden Winter Soup. It’s so delicious and already pretty light and healthful that it doesn’t even need to be modified.
But in my constant effort to make recipes even more nutritious and sneak in more vegetables (that my two year old just refuses to eat), a soup like this is a good go-to that makes me feel good about what we are both eating.
My version is very similar to Cooking Light’s where it has butternut squash as the base. But rather than adding potatoes, I add roasted veggies like carrots, parsnips, even cauliflower. The roasting brings out the natural touch of sweetness in the veggies and also lightens up the starchiness a bit. Not that a two year old can’t benefit from the potatoes, but this is where we are going for both of our goals here.
This recipe freezes well so it’s perfect to make in a big batch, eat for a few days, and freeze any remaining portions for a later time when needed. I’m doing this a lot these days in prep for baby M #2.
It also pairs perfectly with some sort of cheesey-toast. The original sliced baguette with gruyere works well. However, I tend to take some sort of whole grain toast- because it’s more fiber and nutritious – and always on hand, top it with whatever cheese is in the house, and simply grill it or broil it.
Recently, I even made a pimento-cheese like version where I mixed Greek yogurt, pumpkin puree (hidden veggies), with shredded cheese all topped on Dave’s Killer bread and toasted it.
I was secretly rejoicing as everyone ate it without complaint- even the hubby- and he is by far my hardest client. Well, he and Lillian are very close rivals, but regardless he said it was good and when I hesitantly shared my secret (although rather pridefully), he continued to say how good it was and that he couldn’t taste the pumpkin! This will become a go-to now for the little one. We’ve already made quesadillas, too, and we are on 5 continuous days of some sort of vegetable consumption! Needless to say, I’ve been breathing easier and worrying a little less.
Other pureed “neutral” veggies would work well too- thinking yellow squash, zucchini, cauliflower, even leftover baby food or pouches!
And now onto the very special and successful recipe.
Butternut Squash Soup
Serves: about 8
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 leek, sliced
2 cups veggies of choice
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 cup half and half
freshly ground black pepper
In a large dutch oven melt the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the butternut squash and toss and saute for about 5-10 minutes. Add the leeks, additional veggies, and stock.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover. Let it cook, stirring and tossing the veggies occasionally, until the butternut squash becomes soft and easily mashed by a fork or whatever utensil you are using to stir everything.
Remove from the heat. Carefully blend the mixture in a blender or use a handheld blender to puree everything together until you reach your desired consistency (I go with a pretty smooth mixture here as I’m trying to get the daughter to not realize it’s veggies, but otherwise I might like a fairly chunkier texture).
Stir in the half and half and black pepper. Sprinkle some cinnamon or ground nutmeg with an extra touch of half and half drizzled on top.
Garnish with chives or rosemary.
Nutrition facts: 150 calories, 6 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 110 milligrams sodium, 19 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
For the veggies, you can roast them (great to use up leftovers, especially after a holiday like Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas) or just throw in any veggies you like from potatoes (sweet or white), cauliflower, yellow squash or zucchini, carrots, turnips, parsnips (thinking root veggies that are in the white-orange- yellow color wheel).
For the stock, chicken or vegetable works well, especially the latter if looking for a true vegetarian recipe. If not, bone broth would be a super nutrient rich choice and adds some nice protein to the recipe!
For the half and half, I would also use Fairlife milk as an option, especially if I don’t have half and half on hand- like when the hubby puts the empty carton back in the fridge.
Happy Fall, y’all!