As the weather cools and the days shorten, warming veggies move front and center. In general, root veggies such as yams, potatoes, onions, beets, turnips, rutabagas, etc. are said to be more grounding than above-ground veggies. Of course, this is not entirely true. Many above-ground veggies ripen in the fall: all types of winter squash and Brussels sprouts, to name a few.
Over the years, I’ve tried probably at least a half dozen winter squash soup recipes. Some have been simple, for example a savory soup with just four ingredients: butternut squash, yams, miso and water. Others have been much more complicated, with some featuring savory autumn spices while others feature Eastern-influenced flavors. All winter squash soups have one thing in common: they are soothing, warming and satisfying.
Squash has a subtle enough flavor that it can easily take on other flavors. I found this week’s recipe in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan with a Vengeance. Roasting the squash before adding it to the soup gives the soup depth. My partner and I also enjoyed the slightly spicy kick of ginger and serrano peppers in this recipe.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- 5 lbs. butternut squash, stem end cut from bulb end, seeds scooped out, and cut in half lengthwise
- cooking spray
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- juice of one lime
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 425°.
- Coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of oil or cooking spray. Place the squash pieces, cut side down, on the baking sheet, cover the whole thing with foil, and bake for 40-45 minutes, until fork tender. After you remove the squash, turn them face up, so that they cool down faster.
- About 15 minutes before the squash is done cooking, heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions with a dash of salt, and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, until the onions are translucent.
- Add the peppers and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
- Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the ginger, stock and salt.
- When the squash pieces are cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp and add to the soup.
- The original recipe suggests using a hand blender to blend the soup. Hand blenders are very convenient and make the job easier, but they aren’t as powerful as counter-top blenders, especially professional blenders such as Vitamix. Because I prefer a silky texture in blended soups, I use my Vitamix. If you choose this option, let the soup cool down a bit and blend in small batches, pouring each batch into a mixing bowl. When you’ve blended the entire pot of soup, transfer it back to the soup pot and reheat.