It’s hard not to go to soups as a great way to use up veggies and feed a lot of people. Soups are comfort food and love in a bowl, and offer up a way to fit in a ton of nutrition easily and when made in large batches offer up meal prep for quick go to meals during the week.
This Winter Squash soup was born on a December Sunday when I had friends stoping by for lunch but also needed to creatively use the butter nut squash remains from the GIANT squash I had in my fridge, and a random acorn squash we picked up that was just begging to be eaten!
After slicing in half and removing the seeds, the squash bake happily cut side up with nothing added, then are ready to scoop out after cooling to go into the soup pot with the other veggies.
The best thing about soups like this is you can use what you have on hand and improvise easily. We combined the two squashes and it added a really nice dimension and flavor, but you could use just butternut or just acorn if that is all you have. If you are trying to stay fat-free, omit the cashews for the creaminess and use a reserved portion of the cannellini beans instead. Let us know what you think in the comments below and and as ALWAYS share your own twists with the flavor! Cooking is an ADVENTURE and we love to hear from the community on the amazing takes you come up with!
Winter Squash Soup
- high speed blender
- immersion blender
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 medium carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 piece ginger root, 2 inches
- ½ cup Raw Cashews soaked for 6 hours at room temperature or 2 hours in hot water
- 2 15 oz cans white cannellini beans
- 4-6 cups oil free vegetable stock
- 1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
- 1 tsp chili powder (to taste)
- ½ tsp fresh ground nutmeg (to taste)
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
- ½ cup Pumpkin seeds
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (stems discarded)
- Cut both squash in half, remove seeds, and place upright in an oven safe dish. Roast at 375 for 35-45 minutes until fork tender. Set aside to cool. You can roast the squash a day or two ahead and leave in the refrigerator until ready to make the soup.
- Add chopped onion to stock pot, and stir often. You do NOT need to add oil. Onions will release natural oils when left to do their thing! Trust the process.
- As the onions begin to turn clear and the edges are browning, add the chopped carrot and celery to the stock pot. If needed for sticking, add splashes of water or stock at this point.
- After the carrots and celery have had 10 minutes to cook and begin to get tender, add the fresh minced garlic and fresh grated ginger to the pot. I like to remove the ginger skin using the edge of an overturned spoon, lightly scraping to remove. Then I grate the ginger and add in to the dish. Stir frequently.
- Add 4 cups of stock and bring to simmer. Scoop squash out of skins and break up with a spoon, then add to the stock pot. Add spices in amounts above, noting to add more to taste later. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding more stock if necessary to keep the squash and veggies just covered.
- If you have a Vitamix or high speed blender, drain cashews, add to blender with reserved stock. Blend on slow for a few min to begin to break down the cashews, then add speed and small amounts of stock or water to create a cream. Add the soup ingredients from the stock pot (careful with the heat) to the Vitamix one ladle at a time and blend until smooth. Add back to the stock pot, simmer and add salt and pepper to taste.
- If you have an immersion blender, add the drained cashew directly to the stock pot and blend with an immersion blender inside the stock pot, careful with the heat. Continue to blend until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste and simmer. I like to blend the cashew cream in the vitamix, then add that to the stock pot and use my immersion blender for the remainder of the blending in the stock pot.
- Drain cannellini beans and add to fully blended soup. Simmer another 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add splashes of stock as needed for consistency. Add more spices to taste.
- Serve garnished with pumpkin seeds and fresh thyme leaves.