Winter’s chill heightens my desire to eat hearty, nutritious dinners that will warm my empty belly. It is for this very reason that I have made about 5 batches of butternut squash soup this fall!
Butternut squash is a type of winter squash that has a sweet, nutty flavor and can be cooked down into a delicious, nutrient-rich soup! Butternut squash is an excellent source of nutrients as it is rich in fiber, manganese, potassium and vitamin C.
Years ago my mother enjoyed a delicious butternut squash soup recipe at The Millbrook Barn restaurant (Randolph, NJ). She complimented the chef on his delicious creation and he actually gave her the recipe! Albeit delicious, this original recipe called for a significant amount of cream, sugar and butter (listed below), leaving the soup full of empty calories.
Over the past few years I have made adjustments to the original recipe in an effort to provide a healthier, nutrient-rich dinner for my family! This recipe will yield a hearty apple-cinnamon butternut squash soup that tickles the tongue with its natural sweetness.
**Feel free to lessen the amounts of butter and brown sugar in the recipe, as these adjustments will make the meal heartier and slightly less sweet, but will not ruin the meal. I strive to find (and create) recipes that are forgiving to those of us who are not culinary geniuses and/or get distracted by babies, toddlers and/or children. ;)**
5-6 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 lb butter (4 sticks! wow!)
2 containers of chicken stock
1 lb brown sugar
1/4 C heavy cream
3 cinnamon sticks
1 apple, peeled and cubed
My (healthier) version
5 butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 5 pounds of squash)
12 oz unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)
2 containers of chicken stock (low sodium)
1/2 lb (or less!) brown sugar*
1/4 C half and half
3 cinnamon sticks
2-3 large apples, peeled and cubed (Honeycrisp and gala apples work well)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel butternut squash, scrape out the seeds and cube it. Since this process can be very time consuming, I have started to buy the pre-cut and cubed squash from Trader Joe’s (I realize that this is “cheating” and more expensive but after years of doing it the old fashioned way I have officially caved. You win some, you lose some!).
Place cubed squash, butter (cubed) and brown sugar together in a large cast-iron pot (or anything pot that can go from oven to stovetop). Then, fill up the pot with the two containers of chicken stock.
Cook in oven on 375 degrees for two hours with a lid on the pot to prevent burning.
Remove from oven. Press a potato masher into the soupy mixture to smooth out any remaining lumps of squash (see image below).
Add the apple and cinnamon sticks to the mixture. Cook on medium (to medium high) on stove-top.
If possible use a splatter guard to prevent being burned from the spitting soup!
Cook down until soup thickens, stirring occasionally to prevent burning the bottom of the pot, about 1.5 hours.
Then simply enjoy!