Butternut Squash Soup

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It’s finally summer in New York!  Enough of our rainy days, it’s all about beach, sunshine, picnics, camping trips and good weather.  This butternut squash reminds me just of that.  Look at it’s vibrant colors, looks like sun fell out of the sky right in your cup:)  This soup is my daughter’s favorite,  and one of my favorites too…simply because there are so many ways you can make it and to be honest with you it’s different every time.  No worries though, it’s very easy to cook!  This soup is packed with variety of vegetables, the reason we call it Butternut Squash because it is the main and the most abundant ingredient in it.  It is also what gives this dish such an amazing color.

Butternut squash is a versatile ingredient, with a sweet, nutty flavor that makes it a tasty base for soups, a flavorful addition to pasta dishes or simply a delicious side dish when cubed and boiled or roasted.  Besides looking great it is also, a healthy vegetable.  Butternut squash is low in fat and cholesterol and is packed with nutrients. It provides an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese and is a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, calcium, thiamine magnesium and folate, according to NutritionData.com.  Nutrients in butternut squash strengthen the immune system and help prevent heart disease. Its high fiber content contributes to digestive health and can help prevent colon cancer.

Compared with other produce, butternut squash has a long shelf life. It can stay fresh up to three months when stored at 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, though it spoils much more quickly when stored in a refrigerator or after it’s been peeled and cut.

Sources:

1.  What are the benefits of butternut squash?  http://www.ehow.com/facts_5759321_benefits-butternut-squash_.html#ixzz2X8acWq9L.  Retrieved on June 24, 2013.
2.  Butternut Squash Nutritional Benefits.  http://www.livestrong.com/article/230976-butternut-squash-nutritional-benefits/#ixzz2X8a88uvh.  Retrieved on June 24, 2013
 
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Ingredients:
1 Medium Butternut Squash
2 Stalks of Celery
2 Cups of chopped carrots (or baby carrots)
2 Medium Potatoes
1 Table Spoon of Dried Parsley
10 Cups of Chicken Stock
1/3 Cup of Half and Half if you want it more creamy (optional)
 
How to make Butternut Squash Soup:
 
1.  Make your chicken broth, for a complete recipe of it click here.  You can also use store bought chicken stock, but I always prefer in making it fresh.
 
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 2.  While your chicken stock is cooking, wash your vegetables.  Then chop up your celery and carrots.  I used small baby carrots this time so I just left them as is.
 
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 3. Peel your squash, I just carefully cut the sides all around.  You will need a sharp knife for this as it is a little difficult to cut.  
 
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 4.  Dice butternut squash in cubes.  An alternate way to prepare squash for the soup is by cutting it in half and baking it in the oven along with your carrots for about 30 minutes.  This way you can just scoop out the pulp and there will be no need to saute it later.  
 
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5.  Peel  and dice your potatoes.  If you are roasting your squash you can add your potatoes to be baked as well, since you will puree the soup anyway later.
 
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 6.  Now add all your vegetable to the pan, start with you potatoes since they tend to cook longer.  Then add carrots after about 5 minutes, followed by butternut squash and celery.   
 
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 7.  Saute your vegetable on medium high heat until tender and ready, which should take you about 20-25 minutes.  I also add a little bit of chicken stock to the pan while sauteing to enhance it’s flavors and make it cook faster.  Add your dried parsley 5 minutes before they are cooked.  The reason for sauteing vegetables and not simply boiling them in the soup is to help preserve as much vitamins as possible, but you can simply add it to your soup and boil it as well, up to you.
 
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 8.  When you chicken stock is ready, I like to take out chicken and chop it up in pieces…but you don’t have to.  I used boneless chicken thighs in making my broth, but make sure to take out your meat especially if might have bones in it before adding your veggies.
 
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9.  Now that your soup and your vegetables are ready, let’s combine the two together.  Add your heavy cream or half and half if you want your soup more creamy (but it’s optional).  I also like to add my cut up chicken to the soup and and puree it all together, because my daughter won’t eat meat in the soup if she’ll see it:) so I hide it when pureeing it altogether.  You may choose to add your chicken after pureeing your soup later, or leave it out altogether…all up to you.
 
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 10.  Once you combined everything, make sure to have a pot deep enough… so when you will be pureeing your soup it wouldn’t splash.  I used to puree my soups using my Magic Bullet Blender, but to be honest it was such a mess and a very time consuming process.  If you will do it though, make sure to fill it only half way through since the liquid is hot and it may spill out.  Here is a photo of memories from the past:)
 
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11.  Now I do things differently.  I simply use my Cuisineart immersion blender for these kind of jobs and blend everything right in the pot.  It is honestly one of the best investments I’ve made when it comes to making pureed soups.  Here is the link for it in our shop if you would like for info.  So to finish your soup, take out few cups of liquid out of your pot.  You will be adding it in later as you will be blending the soup in order to achieve the consistency that you prefer and blend your soup well.  It’s worth taking your time with it, making sure there is no lumps, so it’s smooth and rich.
 
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12.  Your soup is now ready!  There are numerous ways you can serve it.   I usually like to add some grated white sharp cheddar cheese on the top, store bought fried onions..in order for it to have some crunch…and top it with some sprouts to enhance color and flavor.   You can also serve it with croutons, add a dab of sour cream, or top it with ham and any other herbs of your choice.
 
 
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 I hope you will enjoy this recipe and try making it in your own kitchen.  Let me know what you think:)
 
Love,
 
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Butternut Squash Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Butternut Squash Soup, served with fried onions, melted sharp cheddar cheese and alpha sprouts.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup, Lunch
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 Medium Butternut Squash
  • 2 Stalks of Celery
  • 2 Cups of chopped carrots (or baby carrots)
  • 2 Medium Potatoes
  • 1 Table Spoon of Dried Parsley
  • 10 Cups of Chicken Stock
  • ⅓ Cup of Half and Half if you want it more creamy (optional)
Instructions
  1. Make your chicken broth or you can also use store bought chicken stock, but I always prefer in making it fresh.
  2. While your chicken stock is cooking, wash your vegetables. Then chop up your celery and carrots. If you use small baby carrots just leave them as is.
  3. Peel your squash, I just carefully cut the sides all around. You will need a sharp knife for this as it is a little difficult to cut.
  4. Dice butternut squash in cubes. Another alternate way to prepare it for the soup by cutting it in half and baking it in the oven along with your carrots for about 30 minutes. This way you can just scoop out the pulp and there will be no need to saute it later...your choice.
  5. Peel and dice your potatoes. If you are roasting your squash you can add your potatoes to be baked as well, since you will puree the soup anyway later.
  6. Now add all your vegetables to the pan, start with your potatoes since they tend to cook longer. Then add carrots after about 5 minutes, followed by butternut squash and celery.
  7. Saute your vegetables on medium high heat until tender and ready, which should take you about 20-25 minutes. I also add a little bit of chicken stock to the pan while sauteing to enhance it’s flavors and make it cook faster. Add your dried parsley 5 minutes before they are cooked.
  8. Now that your stock and your vegetables are ready, let’s combine the two together. Add your heavy cream or half and half if you want your soup more creamy (but it’s optional). I also like to add cut up chicken to the soup and and puree it all together, but you can just add your cut up chicken later too once your soup it blended...up to you.
  9. Once you combined everything, make sure to have a pot deep enough… so when you will be pureeing your soup it wouldn’t splash.
  10. So to finish your soup, take out few cups of liquid out of your pot. You will be adding it in later as you will be blending the soup in order to achieve the consistency that you prefer and blend everything with your immersion blender. It’s worth taking your time with it, making sure there is no lumps, so it’s smooth and rich.
  11. Your soup is now ready! There are numerous ways you can serve it. I usually like to add some grated white sharp cheddar cheese on the top, store bought fried for it to have some crunch…and top it with some sprouts to enhance color and flavor. You can also serve it with croutons, add a dab of sour cream, or top it with ham and any other herbs of your choice.
 
 
 

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