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Smooth and scrumptious squash soup
A Fall favorite has finally arrived!
BY MAGAZINE COO MARGO MAIER-MOUL
Beautiful winter squashes are coming into season now, and there are so many ways to enjoy them in addition to the pleasure of seeing them stacked together on the table! Roasted, steamed, or grilled; boiled, pureed or stuffed, squash are packed with vitamin A and C, naturally low in fat, gorgeous to look at and full of natural sweetness.
My favorite way to enjoy squash is to make a velvety soup, and butternut, with its rich flavor and fine texture is my favorite squash to use. There are many, many recipes out there, and for good reason: it’s easy to make and very versatile. You can make soup every week during the chilly months and never eat the same soup twice!
Make-ahead note: The hardest part of making this soup is peeling and dicing the squash. There’s no magic trick. Heed Mark Bittman’s sound advice to forego the peeler and instead carefully use a sharp knife. Peel and roughly chop the squash in the morning while the tea water heats, stash it in the refrigerator, and when you’re ready to make the soup half your work is already done.
Simply Scrumptious Butternut Squash Soup
2-3 pound organic butternut squash
1 medium yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
butter or Greek yogurt, if desired
Prepare the squash Peel the squash (see make-ahead note above). Scrape out and discard the seeds and fibrous parts from the center. Dice the squash into rough 1-inch cubes (don’t worry about being precise).
Start the flavor base Put the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the onion. Cook gently until the onion softens and becomes translucent. Add the garlic and let cook for a few more minutes.
Add the squash to the pan, put in enough water to cover (approximately 4 cups for a 3 pound squash) and turn up the heat. Simmer (don’t boil) until the squash is soft and falling apart, about 30-45 minutes. Note: the amount of water depends on the amount of squash, which of course varies. Just make sure that there’s enough liquid to cover the squash and keep it simmering.
Puree and season to finish Puree the soup in batches in your blender or food processor. If you’re lucky enough to own a stick blender, use that and enjoy the ease! Season with salt, pepper and a splash of maple syrup. Stir in a bit of butter or a dollop of thick Greek Yogurt if you like.
- substitute leeks or red onions for the yellow onion
- dice a carrot and add to the onion
- peel and dice and apple, cook along with the onion
- use vegetable or chicken stock instead of water
- substitute grated fresh ginger root for the garlic
- season with curry powder and cumin
- season with cinnamon and nutmeg
- roast the squash before adding it to the soup
- instead of pureeing, roughly smash the squash with the back of a spoon
Adzuki Butternut Squash Soup flavored with chipotle, from the superb 101cookbooks blog.
From Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy, a roasted variation seasoned with sage and garam masala.
The Barefoot Contessa’s recipe tempts with yummy garnishes of coconut, cashews and raisins.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.