Butternut Squash Soup

Vegan Butternut Squash SoupA version of this article was printed in the Reading Eagle on January 1, 2014.

It’s so silky and sweet, your kids will hardly know it’s healthy. That’s right, no cream, no butter, nothing unhealthy about this recipe! It came about by accident, the way many of my recipes do. I was hungry after doing some exercise, and looking for something quick that I could just heat up and enjoy.

While perusing one of my mom’s old recipe books, trying to find some inspiration, I couldn’t help but notice that so many of the recipes contained unhealthy staples, such as butter, oil or cream. If you haven’t experimented with butternut yet, I think you’ll find that its a wonderful vegetable, so creamy by itself that you don’t even need cream in this recipe.

Taking out some of those not-so-healthy ingredients definitely ups the health benefits of this soup.

This recipe isn’t quick though, so make it the day before – but it is nice to have around so you can heat it up for a quick, soul-warming lunch.

Don’t have time to make this recipe? Stop by Meet Me at Florens in the Shillington Farmers Market from Thursdays through Saturdays. Although the recipe is different from mine, owner-proprietor Chris Floren makes a delectable butternut squash soup you’ll come back for over and over again.

3 to 4 pound butternut squash, peeled and seeded
1 large yam or sweet potato, peeled
3 to 4 pound sucrine du berry squash, peeled and seeded. If you can’t find this in your local market, substitute any large winter squash.
1 vidalia onion
2 to 3 cups coconut milk or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish
Scallions, chopped
Toasted coconut
Roasted, salted cashews, chopped

Prep: Cube and roast the squash and sweet potato on a sheet pan for 45 minutes at 425 degrees and allow to cool.
Add salt and pepper as soon as they come out of the oven. In the meantime, sauté the onions in about a tablespoon of coconut milk, just enough to coat the pan so they don’t stick.

Use 1 teaspoon of the curry powder, salt and pepper to season the onions. Combine the onions, sweet potato, squash, and the rest of the stock or coconut milk in a food processor and puree to desired consistency.

Add the mixture to a stock pot, season with the other 1 teaspoon of curry, and simmer for about an hour. Serve with chopped scallions, coconut, and cashews on top.

And about those New Years Resolutions? Well, sometime’s they’re not easy to keep, so instead, here are four things you can STOP doing to improve your health in the upcoming year:

1. Stop skimping on sleep.

2. Stop making excuses (everyone has the same amount of time).

3. Stop skipping exercise. It doesn’t cost a thing to go for a walk. There are also resistance training exercises you can do without a gym membership – lunges, squats, planks, and good old-fashioned sit-ups and push-ups. Get moving!

4. Stop going out to eat when you’re too tired to cook. Plan in advance to use the weekend to make some healthy, homemade recipes.

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