This roasted butternut squash soup is pure feel-good food. It’s a delicious, cheerful soup that is easy for the whole family to love. And the cashew cream and roasted chickpeas provide extra flavor, crunch, and nutrition.
Hello! How is winter going?
It’s been cold and snowy week here in the northeast, but it’s still winter after all and that’s what it’s supposed to be like! Lots of fun for the kids and personally I like it…at least until the end of the month, after that I’m ready for spring!
Butternut Squash: Not Just for Fall
Speaking of winter, we often think of butternut squash as a fall vegetable. Yes, that’s typically when this vitamin A and C packed veggie is harvested, but like other root vegetables, winter squash stores well all winter long. This means we can enjoy it from late summer until early spring when we start to crave pea soup and fresh asparagus in all things (soup, frittatas, and flatbread).
I don’t make butternut squash soup that often, but whenever I do I’m reminded of how simple it is. I also find any act of roasting or sauteeing veggies to be very therapeutic (I guess I have found myself a good profession!) Like usual, it’s usually just about getting started…
Simply Halve and Roast the Squash
I love that you don’t need to chop up the squash for this recipe. While I know you can buy pre-cut squash, and I do sometimes do, there is still nothing like a whole squash. It’s just such a fantastic, hardy food and one that you will almost always find at the grocery store. But peeling and dicing it, that is no fun.
So in this recipe, you simply slice it in half, remove the seeds, and roast! Much like the Hasselback potato recipe from last week, it can also be done ahead of time. You don’t even need to tend to the oven for this one, well, ok, you should always tend to the oven, but you basically don’t have to do anything for an hour while it roasts!
Anti-Inflammatory and Immune Boosting
I’ve been making a form of this soup for years, but I just recently started adding ginger and turmeric—two anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting ingredients that I’ve been trying to incorporate more into my diet. It’s just a small amount so they don’t overpower the dish and I think most kids won’t even notice. (However, if you have a supertaster or selective eater in your house–I have both–read my tip below for how to introduce new flavors such as these.)This roasted butternut squash soup is packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, garlic, turmeric, and ginger. Click To Tweet
Don’t Forget the Toppings!
Another favorite part of this recipe is the toppings! I’m so glad we’ve branched out from saltines! I love the taste and crunch of the sea salt chickpeas on smooth soups such as this one. And the cashew cream is definitely one of my favorite toppings these days. While I’m not a vegan, I love to incorporate more vegan foods into my diet and explore new foods and flavors. Adding a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or Crème Fraiche would also be delicious.
So, ready to do some roasting?
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 cups if you prefer to buy it diced)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot or small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-inch fresh, peeled ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon dried turmeric (or use 1-inch fresh if available) (optional)
- 1 (32-ounce) container of reduced sodium vegetable stock (or chicken stock if not vegeterian)
- Freshly ground peppper
- Salt to taste (add ¼ teaspoon at a time)
- For cashew cream:
- 1 cup cashews, soaked in filtered water for 3 hours
- ½ - ¾ cup water (start with ½ cup and increase depending on desired consistency)
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place skin-side down on a roasting pan lined with foil for easier cleanup. Drizzle with ½ of the olive oil. Roast for about an hour, until tender when pierced with a fork. If it starts to get too brown but is not yet tender, lower the heat and cook a little more slowly for a longer period of time.
- After roasting, heat the other tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or stock pot. Add shallots or onion and garlic saute for a few minutes, until fragrant. Next add the ginger and turmeric and saute for another couple of minutes.
- Scoop out the roasted squash and add that too. Then pour in the stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes without a lid.
- Meanwhile, make cashew cream. Simply drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Place into a high-speed blender with water, lemon juice, and salt and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste test and adjust seasoning accordingly. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Use a stick blender to puree the soup. (If you don’t have a stick blender you can transfer to a blender in batches, but let it cool slightly first so you don’t burn yourself.)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Start with ¼ teaspoon of salt at a time, stir, taste, and repeat until desired taste is achieved.
- Serve with cashew cream, roasted chickpeas, and parsley. Store extra in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for longer storage.
Roasted sea salt or turmeric chickpeas (you can make your own or use store-bought)
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Plain Greek yogurt (instead of cashew cream if not dairy-free or vegan)
Fresh, chopped parsley
Fresh bread or crispy crackers
Green salad with protein source
Hälsa Kid Tip:
You can leave out the ginger and turmeric if you think the kids are more likely to enjoy this soup “plain.” One way to entice them to taste it is to have them help you grate the ginger and add it to the soup. You can also have them smell the ginger and ask if they know what baked goods ginger is often used in. (e.g., perhaps their favorite gingerbread cookies or pumpkin muffins!)
It also helps to pair the unfamiliar with the familiar. Serve the soup with a well-loved accompaniment such as grilled cheese, baguette, or crackers. A nice green salad with fresh lemon vinaigrette would also go well with this meal.
If you have to momentarily dash out of the house while roasting something like squash or other veggies (it happens—basketball practice drop off, play date pick up…)
If you have to momentarily dash out of the house while roasting something like squash or other veggies (it happens—basketball practice drop off, play date pick up…) just turn the oven off and leave the food to keep slowly get more tender in the oven. Just don’t leave for too long or it will shrivel up and overcook!