Butternut pumpkin soup

The sweetness of autumn

I do love autumn, don't you? When the leaves on the trees have turned their darkest green and there is a little sensation of coolness on the morning breeze and the air smells just a little more earthy you know it's time. Time to run a hand over a woolen jumper, time for boots, time for a cozy fire. Time for different pops of color for different flavors in the kitchen. Time to fall in love with a new season!

Let's head to my kitchen for the king of color ... Butternut Pumpkin or Butternut Squash soup!

Ingredients and preparation

For 4- 8 people (I cook leftovers or prep a next batch for the freezer)

  • 1 large butternut - cubed (set half aside)
  • 1 large onions - roughly chopped (frozen also works)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (or as you wish) - minced
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves (set half aside) - chopped
  • 1 very large or 2 medium+ carrots (equal amount from the freezer is also good)
  • 2 small to medium pears - peeled and chopped (plus 2 peeled and halved to blanch later) - the pears don't have to be too ripe
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • salt only when needed
  • 1 or 2 bay leaves (1 large, 2 smaller)
  • 1 tsp celery powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 to 1.5 teaspoons dry thyme (use fresh if you have it on hand, no problem)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 to 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • Fresh parsley chopped (use dried herbs in a pinch)
  • Optional: 1 potato, peeled and cubed to help the soup thicken on its own
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Method

  • Heat butter to sizzling
  • Add half of the cubed butternut
  • Season with black pepper
  • Sautee until edges are golden  - or as you wish
  • Add the onions
  • Add celery
  • Add pears
  • Add carrots
  • Stir and sautee for 15 minutes, stirring
  • Stir in the garlic for about 2 or 3 minutes (do not give the garlic a chance to burn or it will be ruined)
  • Season with pepper
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  • Top with water  to an inch over the rim of the veggies
  • Add bouillon cubes
  • Add bay leaf and all dried herbs (except for parsley)
  • Let the soup simmer until all vegetables are tender
  • Taste broth for flavor, add any herbs or pepper necessary - if you did, simmer another few minutes
  • Remove thyme if fresh thyme was used
  • Remove bay leaf

Two methods for mincing

  1. Use a potato masher to mash the veg, creating a 3/4 minced soup or as desired.
  2. For a smooth silky soup, use a staff mixes or blender. For this option you definitely want to use the potato
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  • Prepare the next portion of soup:
    • the other half of the cubed pumpkin
    • 2 celery stalks chopped
    • blanch 2 pears, halved, in water for a couple of minutes
    • drain and set aside to cool
    • add all of this to a freezer bag and freeze
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The next time I was in the mood for butternut squash soup, I just grabbed the bag I'd already prepped from the freezer, threw in some frozen onions and carrots and made it a smooth soup.

Topping options

  • Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and a little swirl of olive oil
  • or can also give it a swirl of cream and a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • or toast some old bread, cubed, fry in butter for home made crunchies

Enjoy!
Bren

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