A friend of mine had the most brilliant idea. She invited me to a fall soup exchange. The idea is that everyone who is invited makes 4 freezer bags full of soup. On the day of the exchange, I will leave her house with 4 freezer bags of a variety of soup. Like a Christmas cookie exchange, except healthier and four meals basically done for me. Win!
My favourite soup to make in the fall is any involving butternut squash. Butternut squash is so healthy for you, full of vitamins and minerals which make your skin glow, and let’s be real, everyone could use some extra glow, especially as the weather turns colder.
Soup is one of those things that I don’t actually use recipes for. You can’t really mess it up. So this post has more of a step-by-step thing going on, without too many measurements given. Change it up to work with what you like, but here is the basic idea.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out all of the seeds. Place the squash face up on a foil lined baking sheet and brush on some melted butter (or olive oil), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop it in the oven and bake until it is tender and pierces easily with a fork, about 1.5 hours.
While your squash is roasting away, melt about a tablespoon of butter in a large stock pot.
Now, coarsely chop up a sweet onion. It doesn’t have to be finely chopped, because eventually you are going to blend the soup with an immersion blender.
Saute the onion in the melted butter in the stock pot until it starts to soften up a bit.
While your onion is cooking, coarsely dice up about 4-6 pears (or apples, I just happened to have pears in the fridge). I like to leave the skins on for extra fibre and nutrients, just make sure you wash them well.
Add the pears into the pot with the onions and continue to saute for a few more minutes.
Once your onions and pears are soft and onion have started to brown, pour in about 4 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the temperature to a simmer. I also added a splash of white wine that I had open in the fridge at this point, gave it a nice taste. Add in some salt, pepper, and a dash of cinnamon to taste.
At this point, if your butternut squash is done roasting, remove the peel and cut into chunks. I actually just scooped the squash out of the skin and added it to the soup.
Once all the squash is added to the pot, give it the soup a stir and continue to simmer so all the flavours mesh.
After the soup has simmer for a bit, remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth (you could use a regular blender, I just find the immersion blender less messy!).
Once smooth, season further to taste, and you’re done! At this point you could also mix in some milk, or sour cream. For the soup exchange I was trying to keep things dairy free.
When serving, garnish with a dallop of sour cream and some roasted pumpkin seeds. Delicious.