Butternut Squash Soup: Rich, Silky (and Dairy-Free)

A comforting bowl for fall


Now is the perfect time of year to make soup – we can almost see breath clouds while walking to school in the morning (it takes a lot of huffing), pumpkins are stacked on front stoops and the maples are showing off their fall colors.

Plus, Thanksgiving is right around the corner – I just placed my order for a pasture-raised turkey. Now I need to get busy planning our menu. Since we don’t have a huge family gathering and the duty to provide everybody’s habitual favorite side dishes, I try different recipes from year to year, just to keep things interesting. I’m craving chiles this year, for some reason, and might roast this Southwestern-inspired turkey.

This soup will be great on our holiday table. Made with my all-time favorite fall ingredient, butternut squash, it’s so smooth and rich-tasting you might think it’s loaded with butter and cream, but no worries! It’s completely dairy-free. The secret to its plush, velvety texture is in the ratio of vegetables to broth, and the addition of a little bit of potato for body.

Butternut Squash Soup: Rich, Silky (and Dairy-Free)

Serving Size: serves 4 - 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

3 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 small non-starchy potato (such as Yukon Gold or Red Bliss), peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

4 - 5 cups vegetable stock

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh herbs and toasted nuts, to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and ginger; cook 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the squash, potato, honey, stock and orange juice and zest; season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then adjust heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook until the squash is soft when pierced with a fork.
  3. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or with an immersion hand blender until very smooth.
  4. Garnish with fresh chopped herb leaves (such as chives, basil or parsley) and chopped toasted nuts, if you like.
http://familystylefood.com/2007/10/butternut-squash-soup-rich-silky-and-dairy-free/