Butternut squash is the workhorse of the winter squashes and a favorite seasonal guest in the kitchen. Chock-full of vitamin A and fiber, it’s a favorite for homemade soup on cool days.
Sharp Grossmont Hospital chef John Sheehan shares his soup recipe, which is vegan and gluten-free. Roasting the squash harvests its naturally nutty flavors, with the option of including hard cider to add another layer of yummy goodness.
Butternut Squash Soup
Enjoy the sweet and nutty taste of this popular gourd.
Yields 4 to 6 (8-ounce) servings
1 large butternut squash (2 to 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small yellow onion
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock
1 cup hard cider (optional)
1/8 teaspoon chives, finely chopped
Nutmeg, freshly grated, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 325° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place squash halves flesh side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast squash until it is tender, about 50 to 60 minutes; remove and cool. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, peel it with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Dice squash into 1-inch cubes.
Medium dice the onion. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and thyme, and cook on medium heat until onion is soft and translucent, but not browned. Add squash and 3 cups of water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. (Reserve 1 additional cup of liquid for desired thickness while blending.) Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add 1 cup of cider (optional) and puree with immersion blender until very smooth, adding the reserved liquid, if necessary, to reach preferred thickness.
If desired, pass soup through a fine strainer. Garnish with finely chopped chives, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.