Valentine’s Day Butternut Squash Soup with Cumin and Thyme


I picked up butternut squash last week with the intention of making homemade squash ravioli, but recovering from a busy work week and a rainy Saturday, I opted for something a little less ambitious to prepare – Butternut Squash Soup. This tasty soup with its hint of cumin warms up the insides on a winter’s day and also makes for a quick, healthy lunch during the week ahead. No roast beef sandwiches for at least three days!

There are a lot of squash soup recipes available online, but I find the taste of most of these sometimes too bland for my liking. In the past I’ve added apple sauce to my soup, though here I’ve chosen to go with apple cider vinegar and carrots instead, for that same subtle sweetness. I also roasted the squash beforehand with oil, cumin, cayenne and fresh thyme, for extra flavour. If you’re like my mom and don’t like cumin you can substitute this with rosemary or sage.

My dad and younger brother picking pumpkins and squash last fall

Freshly-picked butternut squash

You’ll need a blender or food processor for pureeing the mixture.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (for roasting the squash)

4 cups of butternut squash, peeled and seeded, then cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp fresh thyme

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups onions, sliced

1/2 cup carrots, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups of chicken broth

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

Pepper to taste

Sour cream or yogourt for garnish

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the squash by peeling, de-seeding and cutting into cubes; mix these together with 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, cumin, cayenne and thyme. Spread out on an oiled baking pan and roast for 12 minutes.

2. In a large stock pot or sauce pan, melt the butter with the remainder of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 6 minutes. Add the chopped carrots and roasted squash and continue heating for 5 minutes, or until the squash is soft. Add the garlic, then stir and heat for an additional minute or two.

3. Add the chicken stock and turn up the heat a little to bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup water, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes before adding the mixture to the blender or food processor. Puree in small batches and then return everything to the pot and stir.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer, before pureeing in the food processor

If you find the soup too thick for your liking (my preference is thick soup), add 1 cup more of the stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Season with salt and pepper and then serve with sour cream or yogourt if desired.

Happy Valentine's Day

The Great Pumpkin Caper

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About gentlemangourmet

My name is Mike and even though I’m not always a gentleman, it’s safe to say I am in love with food. Like my more famous namesake, the kid on the cereal commercial from the early 80′s, I had an ability to eat just about anything and “like it.” I’ve become a tad more discerning since my toddler phase: I prefer Pinot Noir to the customary Shiraz my parents liked, I no longer eat parmesan cheese sprinkled from a container, and can pick out which ingredients I like or don’t in a recipe by smell alone. I blame my Lebanese heritage, my large Lebanese nose (all the better for smelling with) and exposure over the past few years to some exquisite ethnic cooking styles and cuisine, as well as to some stunning, inspiring cooks who are family or friends. I’ve included a lot of their favourite recipes on this site, as well as a few of my own that have become my staples over the years. I hope you find something here that you like. Happy cooking! View all posts by gentlemangourmet

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