Monday, April 8, 2013

Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup

This year, I have been making a very concentrated effort to get at (at least) five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. I start each morning with a green smoothie full of blueberries, bananas, kale, and orange juice. At lunch, I mostly keep low carb with lots of greens and a little meat and at dinner I have...popcorn. It's all about balance and this is just what is working for me right now. The healthy lunches and breakfasts keep me powered through my recently insane work schedule so when I get home at night, I don't feel completely guilty reaching for the first thing on the pantry shelf. To avoid going completely off the rails, I try to keep something somewhat healthy on hand to heat up in my microwave-free kitchen when I get home at night. This soup is relatively simple to prepare and full of flavor to keep me from getting bored with an evening meal. Even though it is vegan, it's full of heartiness and I don't feel deprived after slupring a bowl full of this bright goodness.

One year ago: Brunch at Longman & Eagle
Two years ago: Thin Mint Brownies
Three years ago: Double Chocolate Butterscotch Muffins
Four years ago: Bacon and Tomato Tart

Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup
(Adapted from Bon Appetit, January 2013)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium (1.5 pounds) butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 teaspoons ground ginger or 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 28-ounce can low-sodium, whole, peeled tomatoes, drained
1 1/2-2 cups of vegetable stock
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Brush the baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place the squash halves, cut side down on the sheet. Tuck the garlic cloves into the the hollow of each squash half. Roast for 30-45 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. When the squash has cooled, peel it from the skin and reserve the flesh as well as the roasted garlic.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved garlic, squash, ginger, salt, tumeric, tomatoes, and vegetable stock. Stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot, and cook, allowing the flavors to meld, about 20 minutes.

Use a handheld blender to puree the soup until smooth. Alternately, puree the soup in a blender in batches until it is smooth. Return to the Dutch oven over medium heat. Season again as needed and ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top each bowl with a little bit of freshly ground black pepper.

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