Savory Squash Soup

Hello friends! How is everyone? Come up with anything new in the kitchen lately? I wanted to share my squash soup recipe with you today …this one is super easy, healthy, easily made dairy-free/Whole30 compliant and completely up to you to modify as far as level of spiciness; one of my all time favorite soups ever!

My mom, bless her soul, has a huge garden every year and stocks her freezer, and ours, with squash, greens, and all kind of homegrown goodness. I made this with some of her butternut squash from last year that had been baked and then frozen. You can also use frozen from the store, or bake and use your own (or you can cube a raw squash, and add it to the soup with some extra vegetable stock or chicken broth and let it cook down until soft; the recipe will just take longer, but still be as delicious!)

I add in the red pepper flakes because we like things a little spicy around here, and I also add in some turmeric which has all kinds of health benefits (like being a popular anti-inflammatory), but both of these can be omitted if they aren’t to your taste. Also, I’ve included approximate measurements, but depending on how much squash you have, your amounts will vary, so as always, flavor to taste!

Let’s get started!

You’ll Need:

about 3-4 cups baked butternut squash
about 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano, minced (you can use dried versions too, approximately ½-1 tsp each)
3 cloves garlic, skins on
½ yellow onion, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
approximately 1 tsp each onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, and turmeric
approximately 1 tsp salt and pepper, to taste
1 can coconut milk (can also use equivalent measurement of unsweetened almond milk)
2 Tbsp bacon bits
*optional: vegetable stock or chicken broth to thin soup to desired consistency

Optional toppings:
3 Tbsp browned butter ** Omit for a dairy-free version or Whole30 compliant recipe
1/3 c sunflower seeds
½ cup roasted chickpeas **Omit for Whole30 compliant recipe
(For a Whole30 compliant topping, roast sunflower seeds in olive oil, or sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds for some added crunch!)

What to Do:
Heat the Olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan/pot. Place cloves of garlic, still in skins, in the oil to roast (I love, love, love roasted garlic and feel like it adds some amazing depth to so many dishes!). Add minced onion and herbs and add to the pot, stirring frequently to be sure they do not burn. Add bacon. Let this all cook together for a few minutes. Remove garlic cloves from the pot, squash with the flat side of a knife to remove garlic from skins; chop garlic and add back into the pot. Add spices.

…the house smells AMAZING!

Add squash and allow it to cook down for a few minutes (if you’re using raw squash, at this point add about 1 ½ – 2 cups of chicken broth or vegetable stock and allow squash to cook until softened). Add coconut milk. Then take an immersion blender and blend the soup to remove most of the chunks – it leaves it thick and creamy and gets all of the ingredients fully incorporated so each bite is full of flavor! *Add more or less liquid depending on the desired consistency of your soup – I like to keep it thick because it works better with independent toddlers liking to feed themselves, but if you like it a bit thinner, I may recommend another 1/2 – 1 cup or so of chicken broth or vegetable stock.

Optional: For a savory, rich topping, toast some sunflower seeds and roasted chickpeas in browned butter and add a spoonful to the top of your bowl – a little indulgence that brings the soup up a notch! (to cook brown butter, place butter in a small pan and heat over medium-low heat until frothy, watch closely, and remove from heat as soon as it begins to brown – delicious, nutty-buttery goodness right there! It WILL burn quickly if you’re not paying attention, so be very mindful of your butter!)

This recipe is perfect for making a double batch and freezing some – for comfort food on a cold rainy day like the one we had here, and for a fun twist to your next gathering. Yum! Long live squash!

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