This is one of my favourite times of the year. Those of you who who have been following me for a while know my penchant for soup! Check out some of my past favourites, my cream of spinach soup, roasted sweet potato soup, coconut lentil and pumpkin soup, mint pea soup, and the delicious garlic potato soup. Today I add to these delectable offerings and share my creamy roasted butternut squash soup.
I love heading up to the local market and seeing pumpkins, acorn squash, and my beloved butternut squash! The gorgeous oranges and yellows of the squashes just sing out to be exploited. I bought some local onions, carrots, ginger and cilantro, and I had everything I needed for my simple Winter soup dream that I was sharing with the Recipe Relay community as part of my mini "blender-inspired" recipes series for the rest of this year, where I am sharing some delicious recipes. I love this site because it is really unique. Different cooks from all over the world "relay" ingredients and create recipes with local seasonal ingredients. Check this community out. It is really cool.
What I love about this butternut squash soup is that is so simple. The ginger and cilantro root flavours are very mild, allowing the natural sweetness of the butternut squash to be the star attraction. This is where the Aussie in me sings! In Australia, Fall (or "Autumn" as we call it) and Winter is “Sunday roast season” where we roast potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, butternut squash (or as we refer to in in Australia as "butternut pumpkin") parsnips, turnips, onions, garlic, zucchini and any other seasonal produce we can lay our hands on.
Well, it would appear, you can take the girl out of Australia, but you can’t take the Aussie out of the girl. At this time of the year I always find myself craving one of my mother’s delectable Aussie Sunday roasts. Being a vegetarian, it is not the meat I crave, but the delicious array of roasted Winter vegetables. In particular, the butternut squash or butternut pumpkin. This roasted butternut squash soup or, for those of you in Australia, roasted butternut pumpkin soup tastes like a “Sunday Roast In A Bowl” for me. Or at least, the sweetest part!
Butternut squash is at it’s peak in North America right now -- in the early part of Fall and all through the Winter; which means a lot more Sunday roast nostalgia for me! I don’t know about you, but my body just seems to wrap itself around fresh local foods in season. I love to steam butternut squash. But I always feel like you get more “bang for your buck” by roasting them, which brings out the natural complexity of the flavours: the subtle creamy nuttiness and the delightful sweetness.
I will say that if you want this soup to taste exactly like mine, the vegetable stock/broth that you use is important. Not all stocks were created equal. They really do vary in quality and taste. I always use Massel vegetable stock, which I believe is superior in quality and flavour. Massel stocks are vegan, gluten free, lactose free, kosher and free of MSG. When I don't make my own home made stock (I really do need to post that recipe) I always use Massel stocks. I actually prefer to use the stock cubes so I can control the strength. I use 1 stock cube for every 2 cups of filtered water.
This butternut squash soup is savoury and sweet at the same time. The coconut milk is optional. The soup tastes fabulous without it! But I like the creamy sweetness it adds. You can also substitute ¼ cup blanched almonds instead of coconut milk, which accents the nuttiness of the squash s'blendedly. You could always add more fresh ginger if you want a soup with more of a kick. But I prefer a more subtle ginger flavour that complements the squash beautifully.
From my local table to yours -- squash this soup together and you won’t be sorry. It is DEELISH!