Creamy, rich and smooth butternut squash soup. A steamy bowl shared with family or friends this weekend would be a great de-stressor from the work week. Make your evening or lunch effortless by cooking a day ahead and reheating (it gets better with age my squash loving friends!) Serve toppings on the side for each guest to create a signature bowl. Crispy turkey bacon, fresh green onions and salty Parmesan tip this soup over the flavor edge.
Beautiful and healthy Thanksgiving starter as well. Serve in small coffee mugs for each diner to conveniently hold while arriving, mingling or sitting around the coffee table before dinner. Cornbread croutons, multi-grain crostini, low fat Greek yogurt or lean turkey sausage are excellent toppers too.
Please don’t skip the apple. You won’t even know that it’s present, but adds a depth of sweet & tart flavor that is exceptional with sage, rosemary and garlic. Mmmmm… think I need to go make another pot right now.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP with BACON & PARMESAN
gluten & dairy free option
• 1 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, 100% first cold pressed
• 1 medium YELLOW ONION, chopped
• 3 cups BUTTERNUT SQUASH, peeled, cubed
• 1 medium GRANNY SMITH APPLE, chopped
• 4 cloves GARLIC, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
• 4 cups CHICKEN or VEGETABLE BROTH, LOWER SODIUM*
• 1/2 tsp SAGE, GROUND (or 1 tbsp fresh)
• 1 tsp CRUSHED ROSEMARY LEAVES, DRIED (or 2 tsp fresh)
• SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
• 1 tsp APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
• 6 slices LEAN TURKEY BACON, cooked, crumbled*
• 3 tbsp FRESH PARMESAN CHEESE, shredded or shaved
• GREEN ONIONS or FRESH PARSLEY, chopped (optional)
*Gluten & dairy free option: Use allergen free broth & bacon.
1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, apple, sea salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes then add cubed butternut squash and garlic; continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes stirring occasionally. Pour chicken broth over vegetables, cover and bring to a boil cooking 20 minutes, reduce heat to medium low and cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a conventional blender or food processor.
2. Stir in apple cider vinegar, sage, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot topped with 1 slice crumbled bacon, 1/2 tbsp parmesan cheese and green onion slices or parsley. Serves 6. Serving size about 3/4 cup. Other topping options: low fat Greek yogurt, toasted pepita or pumpkin seeds.
VARIATIONS: Substitute sweet potato for, or in addition to butternut squash. Season with cumin and crushed red pepper for a spicy soup. Stir in cooked lean turkey sausage for a heartier soup.
NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 110 calories, 3.5g fat, 1g sat fat, 15mg cholesterol, 15g carb, 2g fiber, 5g sugar, 6g protein
Portion control struggles start an early age…