I’ve reached squash nirvana with butternut squash. It is THE squash for all my orange squash needs, including pies, roasted veggies, and now soup.
Butternut squash is the one of the stranger shaped objects on my kitchen counter—whether standing up or on its side, it’s unusual at best. That never stopped me. It offers a solid punch of orange-food vitamins and it’s quite gentle on your inner sanctum. It’s loaded with vitamin A and C, with some iron and calcium thrown in for good measure. It’s not acidic, unlike citrus fruits with a similar vitamin profile, which makes it quite gentle on sensitive digestive systems.
Another amazing thing that I’ve yet to prove false: it seems to last for months without going bad. I’ve used a butternut squash up to 3 months old, so I’m not sure how much longer it can last, but I do store it in a dry, cool, slightly dark place.
As for the pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds), these can be made any time, and they’re a great complement to the soup, or just munch on them while you’re making this soup. These pepitas are light and crunchy, with a little kick from the chili and lime. Top the soup off with a spoonful of yogurt, tahini, pesto, or a drizzle of flavored oil. Enjoy!
Pumpkin SoupThis soup can be frozen for a few months, if you have leftovers. I keep some around for a quick meal, and it can last for up to a week in a sealed container in the refrigerator. If you have time, you can roast the squash at a slightly lower temperature of 350°F/175°C for up to 60 minutes to get buttery soft, slightly caramelized squash.
- 1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or about 1 teaspoon of dry thyme)
- 4 large cloves of garlic
- about 2 tablespoons of ghee or high heat oil
- 2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken broth, or water)
- Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C.
- Prepare a baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper, non-stick mat, or grease the baking sheet with a high heat oil or ghee.
- Cut the squash in half, the long way. You can remove the seeds now, or wait until the squash is roasted when they’ll be a bit easier to scoop out.
- Rub the inside of each squash half with ghee or oil.
- Coat the onions with oil and then place them on the baking sheet so the squash halves can rest on top of the onions.
- Place the garlic and thyme inside each squash half and then place them face down on top of the onions on the baking sheet (squash skin-side is facing up).
- Roast the squash and onions for about 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender and you can insert a fork in the thickest part.
- Cool the squash and remove the thyme (and seeds if you didn’t already). Scoop out the squash and place it into a blender along with the garlic and onions.
- Add the broth or water to the blender and then blend until the soup is smooth.
- Serve with yogurt, tahini, flavored oil, or pesto, and the chili lime pepitas below.
Chili Lime Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)These seeds taste great when slightly burnt and darkened, so if you like the burnt crunchy version of pepitas just leave the seeds toasting for another few minutes.
- 1 cup of raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 1 teaspoon of high heat oil
- Preheat your oven to 375°F/190°C.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat, or grease your baking sheet quite well with a high heat oil.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and blend well.
- Bake the seeds for 15 minutes, or until they begin to turn golden brown and puff up. You’ll also hear them pop.
- Cool and enjoy! Store in a sealed container for a few weeks.
Makes 1 cup