We've been on a belly-warming, Fall season, don't-leave-the-house meal kinda kick. This recipe fits the bill. Lol. I got excited about all the gourds we were seeing at the grocery store. And after toasting pumpkin seeds around Halloween, I was inspired to cook something with actual squash meat. Hence, Butternut Squash Soup!
This soup is totally doable without roasting squash in advance. We decided to boil the squash, which is way faster. And when you boil it in veggie broth, it adds a flavor that makes for the best butternut squash soup!
I will say that the prepping of the squash can be time consuming...the deseeding, peeling and chopping. But if you have a Cuisinart or food processor, take advantage of it! I don't. So, I had to do it by hand, the old fashioned way. If you're willing to spend a bit more money, you can also buy the squash precut, and that saves loads of time. Regardless, the whole recipe can be made in 28 minutes!
I think the key to your kids liking this soup is the sweetness. The first batch I made had more salt, minus all the typical, seasonal spices and sugar. Result: my kids were very ambivalent (bordering dislike) about it. Then my boyfriend (who's a chef, and who thankfully corrects all my kitchen missteps) came home, doctored up the soup with spices, brown sugar and sherry vinegar, and served it to the kids. Totally different reaction. They loved it! With a few small changes, they were completely different soups. Feel free to play with the ingredients and their ratios to get the soup just how you like it.
Above: Best bowl for kids! It makes eating soup ten times more fun.
🌈 KIDIFY THE MEAL 🌈
🍅Showcase the sugar! If your kids help you cook or are at least watching you cook, show them all the brown sugar that goes into the soup. It will interest them and increase the odds of soup consumption. Fact. Lol!
🍅Use a straw bowl! Sometimes, actually all the time, my kids are more excited to eat a soup when they can use their straw bowl. I bought mine for soooo cheap at the grocery store. And the same exact bowls are also on Amazon - see here. Just make sure they don't go crazy with the slurping.
🍅Add some carbs! As long as you monitor their intake (lol), kids will be more amped about the meal if it comes with crackers and/or bread. We put Oyster crackers on top of the soup and had Pillsbury Biscuit Grands on the side. You can also crumble Ritz crackers or Keebler Clubhouse crackers on top of the soup, or even croutons. All work! [Of course, the meal will not longer be gluten free]
🍴 MODIFY THE MEAL🍴
🍅Make it Vegan! (1) Make sure your veggie broth is vegan. This is a great option. (2) Swap the cream for coconut milk. (3) Use cooking oil or a non-dairy butter, like Earth Balance, to cook the veggies.
🍅Make it Dairy Free! Same as above. Replace the cream with coconut milk, and use an oil or non-dairy butter to cook the veggies.
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The Best Butternut Squash Soup
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 medium butternut squash (6-8 cups, cubed)
- 1 T butter
- 1 shallot (chopped)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2-3 T brown sugar
- 1/2 T sherry vinegar
- 2 t salt
- 1/2 t black pepper
- pinch cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 cup cream
- crackers or croutons (optional)
- Pillsbury biscuits (optional)
- Start heating broth in a large/5Qt pot and bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, prepare the squash. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds and peel. [Leave the cutting & peeling to adults]. Chop squash into 1" cubes. Place squash in boiling broth and cook for 8 mins (or when squash is soft). When done, strain but save 2 cups of the broth for later.
- In a medium pan on medium heat, melt the butter and cook the shallot and garlic for about 5 mins.
- In your Vitamix or blender, add squash, 2 cups of the vegetable broth, cooked veggies, sugar, vinegar, and spices. Blend. Put mixture back in the large pot and stir in the cream.
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