Squash Soup

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Make a Hearty Squash Soup for Mabon

Squash Soup
Make a hearty squash soup for your Mabon celebrations. Image by StockStudioX/E+/Getty Images

I love butternut squash so much. It’s easy to grow, and in fact, even if I don’t actually plant it in my garden, I usually end up with a few rogue vines each year, so it’s not uncommon for me to find a couple of butternuts peeking out at me, nestled in amongst the cucumbers and zucchini leaves. I use butternuts for casseroles as often as possible – and the small ones end up being silly craft projects – but one of my favorite things to make is soup, especially during the Mabon season, when the nights are starting to get a little cooler.

Butternut squash soup can be made in a variety of ways – you’ll find dozens of different recipes all over the Internet – but this is my favorite way to do it. I cheat a little, because while peeling and chopping a raw squash can be labor intensive, I’m a fan of working smarter, not harder, so I like to just roast the whole thing and then scoop out the guts to make the soup. I may be a lazy cook, but I’m efficient. Trust me, this method works really well.

This is one of those recipes that I like to make early in the day, and put it in the crockpot on a low heat. Because you’re using already-roasted squash, there’s no need to overcook everything, but setting your crock on simmer will help warm all the other ingredients so it’s nice and toasty by the time dinner rolls around. Plus, it makes your house smell amazing. Let’s get started!

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • Butter (I use half a stick, but use as much or as little as you like)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 -3 cloves garlic, minced (I like to use a lot of garlic, but go with your own taste preference)
  • 2 C vegetable broth
  • 1 C applesauce
  • 1 C water
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

First, roast your squash. Preheat your oven to 375, and cut the squash longways down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and strings, so that all that’s left is the meat. See the little hollows where you scooped the seeds out of each half? Put the butter in there. Alternately, you can melt the butter and brush it all over the inside of the squash – either method works just fine. Put the two halves, cut side up, in a baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes.

While your squash is in the oven roasting away, you can go ahead and start the rest of your soup. If you want to use a pot on the stove, set it on low, or do like I do and use a crockpot on the lowest setting. Dice the onion into small pieces, and put them in the pot with the garlic, vegetable broth, applesauce and heavy cream. Cover the pot with a lid while it simmers.

Once your squash is done, let it cool for a few minutes, and then scoop the meat out of the center – it should be nice and tender by now. Place the squash meat into your blender or chopper and puree it so it’s smooth and creamy – depending on how big your blender is, and how big your squash is, you may need to do this in batches. It’s fine to do it that way. After you’ve pureed the squash, add it into the soup pot and stir gently to get it all blended together.

How long you leave your soup simmering is entirely up to you – if you’re doing it on the stovetop, be sure to stir occasionally so it doesn’t burn. If you do it in the crockpot, I like to let mine go about four hours. About half an hour before you plan to serve it, chop up some fresh rosemary and stir it in, as well as adding as much salt and pepper as you like. I typically use a tablespoon of salt, because it really brings out the flavor of the squash when you season it well, but do whatever your palate prefers. Likewise, with the pepper, I typically add about a teaspoon.

If you like, garnish with a small dollop of sour cream and some chopped green onions. Serve this at your Mabon celebration with a big chunk of crusty bread, your favorite veggie dish, or anything else you can think of!

Note: An alternate method is something you can try if you’ve got an immersion blender – instead of pureeing the squash before adding it to the soup, add it in directly, and then use the immersion blender to puree it in the soup pot. Try it and see which way works best for you!