Butternut Squash Soup

As fall slowly fades away and winter appears on our doorsteps, it’s time to start stocking up on hearty and flavourful soups to cozy up for the chilly and winter nights ahead. To me, squash and pumpkin are defining flavors of the fall and winter season. Although I am not a fan of pumpkin pie, I really could devour a bowl of this deliciously creamy butternut squash soup. 

Growing up, pumpkin and squash weren’t really my favorite vegetables. However, I feel like after moving away from home, I have grown to love this vegetable and really learned to admire its sweet potato like qualities. Believe me, once the coconut milk infuses with the softness of the roasted squash and garlic, you get this unbelievably velvety texture that just makes it irresistible. For this recipe, I used about half a squash, but if you are making a bigger batch, do adjust your ingredients. Play around with the flavors and add something crispy on the top to give it a bit of crunch. Let me know if this soup warmed your heart as much as it warmed mine!

INGREDIENTS
400grams of peeled and chopped squash/pumpkin
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chili flakes (I like everything spicy, but do adjust to your taste)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tbsp dried thyme leaves
2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock 
1 bulb of garlic unpeeled

STEPS
First, heat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay out the chopped squash. Drizzle the oil and sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme, chili and the unpeeled cloves of garlic and mix together with the squash. Once your oven is heated, place the tray into the oven for about 30 minutes. 

After 30 minutes your squash should be soft. However, if they aren’t, then just pop it back into the oven for another 10-15 minute, but it really shouldn’t take that long. Once your squash is done, just slowly peel off the skin from the garlic and pour all the ingredients into a pot. Your garlic should be really mushy and caramelized and that is exactly what you want. Once you’ve added everything to the pot, turn the heat to medium, add the stock and the coconut milk and just let it sit on the pot for about 5 minutes. At this point, you can either use a hand blender to blend the soup in the pot or pour the contents into a blender and whiz it up. Once your mixture is nicely whipped, taste your soup and adjust if necessary. The final step, which is what makes this dish so velvety, just take your soup and pour it through a sieve to keep out all lumps and unwanted chili flakes out of the soup. 

I love adding a bit of crunch to my soup, so I drizzled a little coconut milk and added some crispy fried onions, but you can add crackers or croutons if you like. I hope you enjoy!

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