Maple Walnut Butternut Squash Soup
Come fall, pumpkin becomes the star of the culinary world and it is easy to forget that there is a whole family of winter squash out there that are equally delicious. Somehow we have started putting pumpkin in just about everything. It’s certainly festive, but I’m always a bit perplexed by the pumpkin-everything phenomenon because when it comes to winter squash, pumpkin is arguably not the best one. Butternut squash is sometimes a bit neglected but it is just as versatile as pumpkin, if not more so. It is naturally sweeter than pumpkin with a mellow flavor. Just because Starbucks has thus far failed to bring the world a butternut squash spice latte doesn’t mean that butternut squash isn’t worth a try. The next time you find one, pick it up and make this soup!
For as good as butternut squash tastes, it doesn’t make it easy on those that want to cook with it! Its shape is cumbersome and the peel is tough enough that a vegetable peeler doesn’t really cut it (literally), so you actually have to peel it with a knife. On top of that, butternut squash tends to leave an orange film on your hands, which is admittedly a bit bizarre. When it comes to butternut squash, however, preparation and cooking doesn’t get much easier than cutting it in half, scraping out the seeds, and tossing it on a pan to roast. By the time it comes out of the oven, the flesh is tender and you can scoop it out with a spoon. No peeling, chopping, or orange hands necessary.
Brushing the squash with olive oil and maple syrup before roasting helps to maximize caramelization which will give the squash a great flavor to start your soup. Think about it, if squash is the primary ingredient in your soup, you want to start with squash that already tastes good, right? Right. On top of that, this soup also has walnuts blended in, which gives it even more toasty flavor. Lastly, maple syrup goes in the pot to help enhance the natural sweetness of the roasted squash. If you like, finish it off with a teaspoon or two of cream.
Makes 10 servings, 1.5 cups each
Calories: 161 Fat: 5.2g Sodium: 162.4mg Carbohydrates: 27.3g
Fiber: 2.6g Sugar: 13.9g Protein: 4.8g
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. maple syrup
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 1/2 t. sea salt
- 1. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.* Place squash on a large baking sheet.
- 2. Combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Brush over the cut sides of squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- 3. Roast squash for approximately 1 hour at 425 degrees, or until squash is very soft. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop squash from the shell.
- 4. Toast walnuts in a large pot on medium low heat, stirring often until fragrant.
- 5. While walnuts are toasting, measure 8 cups of roasted squash, reserving the rest for another use. Once the walnuts are toasted, add 8 cups of squash, broth, and maple syrup to pot. Bring squash mixture to a simmer for 5 minutes.
- 6. Remove from heat. Add milk and salt. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.
- *Don't throw the seeds away! Rinse seeds and toast them as you would pumpkin seeds!
- Soup is freezer friendly!