Monday, February 28, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

Besides the creamy texture and fantastic taste of this dish, I really love that this blended soup allows me to consume a wide variety of vegetables in mass quantity! And because I buy many of the vegetables pre-cut at my local grocery store, it is very easy to prepare! I literally throw everything into a pot and leave! How simple is that!?

This soup is truly so delicious I wouldn’t hesitate serving it at a dinner party or making it for a family who just had a baby and needed a meal! I have played around with the ingredients for awhile now and I think I have finally nailed it! It’s the apple! I really gives it a subtly sweet flavor without going over board!

2 Tbl butter or olive oil
4 cups cubed/peeled butternut squash (Central Market and Whole Foods sell
fresh butternut squash already peeled & cubed. You can also find it peeled and cubed in the frozen food section. AND if you want to go all out and by a whole butternut squash, one squash will yield approx. 4 cups)
1 small sweet potato or yam, peeled and cubed
2 sliced leeks* (again, I buy these already sliced at CM- saves time! If you are slicing the leeks yourself, use only the white & light green parts)
2 medium red potatoes cubed (I leave the skin on- extra vitamins & fiber!)
1 medium apple, cored & peeled, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (according to your spice preference)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 c chicken broth (1 carton)
1 c low-fat milk (use more for a thinner consistency)

1. Melt butter (or olive oil) in a large soup pot and add squash through cinnamon. Saute for 6 -8 min.
2. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.
3. Place half of the soup mixture in a blender (it is better to wait until it has cooled...or if you can’t wait and it's hot, make sure you take the center piece off the blender lid to let the heat escape- put a towel over this). Repeat with remaining soup. Put all the blended soup back into the pot.
4. Stir in milk just before serving and reheat until desired eating temperature.

*If you cannot find leeks, substitute for half an onion, roughly chopped
**I serve this soup with a sliced baguette sprinkled with shredded gruyere
cheese & pepper and toasted in the oven. YUM!

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