The cool air is fading and the just plain cold is moving in. Bring on the homemade chicken noodles, carrot and corianders, potato and leeks.. I need rich, hearty, homemade soups to warm my soul!
Actually, my entire family needs healthy, antioxidant-rich, hearty soups to warm our souls and immune systems. Ever since the neighbourhood and older daycare kids returned to school in September, my household has been fighting some sort-of minor-epidemic. The timing is always spot on with our busiest schedules as well. This includes today; I had a full agenda planned of meetings and interviews and sure enough, around midnight, Edie climbed into our bed radiating a high fever. She’s fine and comfortably wrapped up on the couch watching The Little Mermaid while I spend the morning making apologetic cancellation phone calls. I just wish I could be so honest to say, “Really sorry I can’t make it, I have kids with telepathic abilities to sense when I’m the least available and that’s when they magically get sick.” Le sigh.
So, without further ado, let’s get this healthy goodness in our bellies. Launching this sensational soup season, is my favourite Butternut Squash Soup, that just happens to be rich phytonutrients and antioxidants, AND offers a splash of the vitamin C goodness of fresh orange juice.
Scroll down for tips on how to prepare your butternut squash.
Butternut Squash Soup with Nutmeg Cream
Inspired by the Mixer bible 2nd Edition
Serves 6 to 8 large bowls
- ¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs/1 kg), peeled and cut into 1-inch (2/5 cm) cubes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped onion
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (2 mL) ground coriander
- ½ tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups (1.25 L) chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup (125 mL) orange juice
- ½ cup (125 mL) whipping (35%) cream
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- ½ cup (125 mL) cold whipping (35%) cream
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly grated nutmeg
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add squash, garlic and onion; sauté for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add salt, coriander, thyme and black pepper; sauté for another 5 minutes. Add stock and orange juice; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and let it simmer gently until squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Your house will perfectly embody the smell of fall.
Using an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender in batches, pureé soup until smooth. Return to the pot, if necessary. Stir in cream, nutmeg and cayenne to taste; reheat over medium heat, stirring often, until steaming. Do not let boil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary.
Prepare the nutmeg cream: In a bowl, using an electric mixer, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add nutmeg and whip until well blended. Note: you always want your utensils and cream to be cold when making a whipped cream.
Ladle soup into heated bowls and top each with a dollop of nutmeg cream.
Preparing your butternut:
Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it an exceptionally heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. From the healthy cooking perspective of a busy mom, it is culinary gold. You can just place it on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about an hour, or until you can pierce it with a sharp knife. Or remove the skin using a vegetable peeler and cut the flesh into chunks for steaming or sauteing. Once cooked, mash it, puree it for soup, fold it into a pasta or risotto dish, or simply savor your butternut squash as is. When making soup with it:Add to favorites