I love January on this blog. It’s not that I’m not into making desserts all the time—and you know I can’t quit baking completely—but it’s really fun to share recipes that are part of my everyday life. The sorts of things that I make on the weekends and then delegate as lunch or dinner for the next four days. #singlelady I’ve been making this Roasted Butternut Squash Soup for the last few months and I can’t get enough. It’s super simple to put together and very wholesome and comforting.Did I mention that it’s made almost entirely of vegetables and contains zero dairy? This soup’s creamy, velvety texture comes from one unsuspecting secret ingredient: a turnip.* It’s diced up and roasted with the butternut squash until everything is golden and sweet. Yum.
*Yes, the turnip pictured is comically large. That’s what I get for shopping ten minutes before close on a Friday night.The roasted vegetables are then combined with some softened aromatics and stock (chicken or vegetable, whatever you have on hand), simmered for a few minutes, and puréed into a thick, rich, nutritious soup.Roasted Butternut Squash Soup provides a great blank slate for any number of garnishes. I was tempted to go with crispy bacon or even a wintry pesto, but decided instead to make something out of the seeds from my butternut squash!While the vegetables were roasting, I rinsed the seeds to remove the fibrous squash innards. Then I toasted them in a dry pan just until they started to pop. After that, I added some olive oil, maple syrup, ancho powder, cayenne and salt, and stirred until they were brown and crispy.The results are spicy, salty, sweet Maple-Chile Butternut Seeds, perfect for garnishing soup. Or eating by the tiny handful while you wait for your subpar Chinese takeout to arrive, which is exactly what happened to these. Ah, well.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
makes 4-6 servings
1 2 lb butternut squash
1 large or 2 medium white turnips
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large or 2 small Spanish onions, 1/2-inch diced
3-5 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1/2-3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 425F.
Peel butternut squash and use a large, sharp chef’s knife to cut it into 1-inch chunks. Reserve seeds for Maple-Chile Butternut Seeds (recipe below).
Peel turnip(s) and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place turnip and butternut squash pieces on 2 dry rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle each pan with 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) olive oil and toss to coat vegetables. Roast 50-60 minutes, tossing every 25 minutes. They should be soft and caramelized in places. (The roasting time is a good time to make Maple-Chile Butternut Seeds.)
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 6-quart soup pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and crushed garlic cloves and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened. Stir in roasted vegetables. Add stock, water, and bay leaves. Turn heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Discard bay leaves. Use a stick-blender to purée soup. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
Serve soup with butternut seed garnish. Leftovers will kee in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Maple-Chile Butternut Seeds
makes about 1/3 cup
~1/3 cup butternut squash seeds (from 1 butternut squash)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ancho, chipotle or other chile powder
pinch of ground cayenne pepper
pinch of fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Place squash seeds in a small mixing bowl and cover with water. Use your fingertips to remove pithy squash innards from seeds, discarding them as you go. Pour seeds through a colander and remove any remaining pith.
Place seeds in an even layer on a clean, dry kitchen towel (or double layer of paper towels). Blot dry with another kitchen towel (or paper towel).
Heat a medium heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. Add squash seeds and toast, stirring every minute or two, until they start to pop. Do not burn.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in olive oil. Return heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to darken and pop again. Do not burn.
Mix in chile powder, cayenne, salt, and maple syrup. Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes, until the seeds clump. Remove from heat.
Transfer seeds to a plate and let cool completely. Serve with Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.