There is nothing like a soup made with really simple and healthy ingredients to warm your soul. Food should nourish your body. I think we forget that. All those words you can't pronounce, the processed ingredients, the dyes and preservatives—they provide no benefit to your body and as I am sure you know, can do major harm. Simple foods and real ingredients should make up the bulk of your diet. This is key to a healthy lifestyle. This week's recipe is a great example of that.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup—holy moly is it good. Oh, and did I tell you it has roasted fennel bulb in it? Serious soup perfection. What I love about this soup is that it is elegant enough for a fancy dinner party, hearty enough for a snowy winter day, and clean enough that it would be a perfect soup to include in a detox week.
Start by peeling the butternut squash. These babies can be tricky, so be careful! I like to peel it, cut the bottom and top off and then cut it width-wise in half. Cut each half length-wise down the middle, scoop out the seeds from the bottom half, and now you have more manageable pieces to cube. The fennel bulb can also be tricky. I cut the fronds off at their base then cut the fennel bulb in half length-wise on the long end. I cut the core out of the bottom with two pie shaped cuts, and then I have two halves that I can slice vertically. Add your rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper and then using clean hands, toss the mixture to coat and evenly spread on a large, lined baking sheet.
Roast that for an hour and 15 minutes, making sure to turn every half an hour. You should be able to easily pierce the squash with a fork when it is done. Let it cool some.
Now to puree. If you have an immersion blender then just add the roasted veggies to a big soup pot, pour in the vegetable broth and additional salt and pepper and immerse away. However if, like me, you like a high powered blender, then work in two batches to puree your soup. Add half the roasted vegetables, half the broth and half the additional salt and pepper. Blend for 20-30 seconds until it is completely pureed. Add the soup to a large stove top pan and then blend the second half of everything. Add that to the pan and heat up over low to medium heat for 10 minutes, making sure not to boil.
Now, you are probably going to be tempted to add a bit of cream to the soup. Don't do it. Doesn't even matter if it is vegan cream. This soup doesn't need it and your body doesn't need it. It's simple, beautiful, and delicious as it is.
Sometimes less is more. This soup only has a few ingredients, but they are wholesome and nutritious ingredients whose flavors marry so well together. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Make sure to comment in the section below! Enjoy.
Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cubed
1 medium fennel bulb, cored, fronds removed, sliced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried rosemary
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. course black pepper
7 c. vegetable broth, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp. course black pepper, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lined large sheet pan (or two medium that will both fit on one oven rack), place cubed squash and fennel bulb slices on the pan and sprinkle the chopped rosemary (read the blog for the best way to cut the squash and fennel). Drizzle with olive oil and add the salt and pepper. Using your clean hands, mix it all up together and spread out evenly on the pan.
Roast for 30 minutes, flip with a spatula, roast for another 30 minutes, flip again, and roast for an additional 15 minutes. You should be able to easily pierce the squash cubes with a fork. Let cool.
In a high powered food processor, spoon half your roasted vegetable mixture in the blender container with half the vegetable broth, and half the salt and pepper. Blend for 20-30 seconds until pureed. Pour soup into a large stove top pan. Repeat with the remaining vegetables, broth, salt and pepper and add the second batch to the stove top pan as well. Heat over low to medium heat for 10 minutes, making sure not to boil.