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Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

butternut squash and sweet potato soup

This used to be my favorite winter soup when I was living in Munich. It’s so pure and simple. I’d make it, just for me, and eat it for three days straight. I loved it. Still do. And with all the miserable rain, wind and bone-chilling temperatures here in Hamburg I am in need of a warming soup. Okay, perhaps I am exaggerating, it hasn’t hit less than 3° all winter, but it’s wet and chilly – that combination is killer, especially since as a Vancouverite I’ve been bred to dread public transportation and am determined to ride my bike to work ALL winter long. So needless to say, for the last two months I have been constantly craving some type of warming up dish after rushing home from work. Can someone PLEEEAAASE give us some sunshine?

This amazingly simple cold weather soup is bursting with nutrients. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamin A, and fibre, this soup is fantastically filling and is great for maintaining a healthy immune system during those cold winter months. Both butternut squash and sweet potato have a deliciously sweet, rich flavor and soft, tender texture when roasted — they literally melt in your mouth!

I guess you can gather by now that I absolutely love butternut squash! After countless coaxing, I still can’t convince my favorite Schwabe of its merits. How can one not love winter squash? Especially butternut squash? It’s sweet taste and velvety smooth texture…what’s not to like? Okay, it’s orange. Hmmm. Perhaps he has an adversity to orange. He doesn’t like carrots either….

ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SWEET POTATO SOUP
Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:
2 medium unpeeled butternut squash, halved and seeds discarded
1 medium sweet potato, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
3-1/2 to 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds, garnish (optional)
Pumpkin seed oil, garnish (optional)

METHOD:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

2. Brush the oil over the tops and insides of the squash and sweet potato halves and place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and thyme; sauté until onion is tender and golden, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the stock, the squash and sweet potato. Simmer over moderate heat for 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pan and season with the salt and pepper.

5. Drizzle with pumpkin seed oil and serve garnished with the pumpkin seeds, if using.

(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)

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