Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cardamom Butternut Squash Soup

We had about 4 days of 'fall weather' about 2 weeks ago and it was amazing.  Fall is Reid's favorite time of year here in Central Texas.  On any good day/night he'll take a deep breath in and scan the sunset and declare, "Just another beautiful day in Central Texas!"  That is, of course, once we get out of the >100 degree brutality that is the summer here.  I really enjoy fall as well.  I like pulling out all my light clothing layers, and my cowboy or fashion boots from the back of the closet.  I like wearing a rain jacket with the hopes it will actually rain and then feeling like an idiot when it doesn't.  I like the smell of roasting squash like pumpkin and butternut and acorn and weird ones I've never seen before, and cinnamon, and nutmeg, and all those warm flavors.  So when we had those 4 days for fall weather a while back I loaded my grocery cart with butternut squash and grabbed my Dutch oven from the cabinet.

This butternut squash soup was inspired in parts by what I had on hand and my desire to keep it somewhat diabetic friendly and the butternut squash soup recipe from Cook's Illustrated Cookbook (a wonderful birthday gift from my boss!)  The roasting of the butternut squash may be a little unnecessary since you could also just cook the squash in the chicken stock over the stove, but I find it adds an extra dimension of flavor and makes your house smell amazing.  This can easily be made vegetarian by subbing chicken stock for vegetable and made vegan by omitting the Greek yogurt.

Cardamom Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 tbs. butter
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 c. low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 &1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper

Serve with

  • Cinnamon sugar whole wheat croutons-recipe follows
  • Dollop of Greek yogurt
  • Toasted pistachios 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375*F.  Cut butternut squash in half and remove inner seeds and fibers.  Rub with 2 tsp. olive oil and sprinkle of salt.  Roast in oven for about 25-30 minutes or until soft.  Allow to cool before removing skin and cutting into large chunks.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Add shallots and caramelize for about 2 minutes.  Add diced squash and chicken broth.  Allow to come to a boil over high heat and then lower to a simmer for about 5 minutes.  Season with cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and pepper.  Carefully transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.  Return to pot for warming.  Adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. Serve with dollop of greek yogurt and toasted pistachios and/or cinnamon sugar whole wheat croutons.
Cinnamon Sugar Whole Wheat Croutons
  • 3 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread, crust removed and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Place croutons in a single layer and bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until golden brown, tossing once during baking time. (This can also be done at the same time you roast the butternut squash; just keep a close eye on them to ensure they don't burn)

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