I’ll be honest.. butternut squash soup never sounded all that enticing to me. Maybe it was the baby food-like consistency or that I didn’t really start eating squash until recent years, but I just discovered that I have been missing out! I was inspired to try my own recipe after my friend, Bridgette from The Flamingo Tribune (an adorably wonderful rockabilly lifestyle blog), shared a photo of her own butternut squash soup and was kind enough to share her recipe with me. I kicked it up a notch by using fresh cilantro, lime, and jalapeño, with an assortment of other vegetables and spices to make the perfect soup for a cold winter day!
(makes 6-8 servings)
1 butternut squash (about 3lbs)
Olive oil for cooking
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 medium sized carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups chicken broth (use one cup less for smaller squash and one cup more for larger than 3lbs)
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp paprika
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp of your favorite hot sauce
(1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds (much like you would with a pumpkin) and discard. Place squash halves cut side up on the prepared baking sheet, rub with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until easily pierced with a fork. When finished baking, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
(2.) Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium to high heat. Add chopped carrots, celery, onion, and jalapeño. Sauté for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add minced garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes. (3.) Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh (creepiest sentence I’ve ever written!) from the squash and add to the pot along with chicken broth, cilantro, lime juice, and spices. (4.) Stir together over high heat. Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let soup cool for 10-15 minutes.
If you have an immersion blender you can blend the soup right in the pot, but if using a regular blender you may want to wait even longer for the soup to cool so you don’t end up with a soup explosion! The hot soup, vibration, and the steam can cause the lid to blow off, so cover the top with a towel and press down firmly while you puree the soup. Also be careful not to overfill the blender, so try blending in 2-3 batches. I used my Cuisinart Food Processor and just had to be careful not to measure too far past my liquid fill line. I measured out the soup 2 cups at a time and poured the pureed soup into a bowl. I transferred the soup back into the pot once it was empty so I could warm it back up.
Reheat over a low to medium setting for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While waiting on the soup, stir together sour cream, lime juice, and hot sauce in a small bowl. Pour soup into bowls, top with a bit of the sour cream mixture, and serve!