Cream of Butternut Squash Soup

We went out to a birthday dinner with my mom at Cosi Cocina’s and had a delicious butternut squash soup.  This soup is my version or interpretation of that soup.  It is a perfect fall flavor soup with the heartiness to make it a  meal.  It is vegetarian and even could be made vegan with a simple swap of the dairy for a non-dairy milk.  I would opt for a coconut milk or coconut creamer, for the best flavor and consistency.  To really cut corners, and make a fast meal, one could easily use a can of cream of potato soup instead of the potatoes and the dairy.

We hosted a belated party for my mom on Saturday night at our house.  We were expecting 17 people total, so I doubled the recipe to make 2 crock pots of this soup.  It paired perfectly with dinner rolls and we even had a little left over.

 The soup’s vegetables are potatoes, onion, garlic, butternut squash, and celery.  Did you know that you can use the base of a celery bunch as a stamp to create flower designs?  I am going to attempt this craft with Greta’s help.  I will show you the results, promise.

One roasted butternut squash plus a can of pureed butternut squash creates the base flavor for this soup.   After roasting the squash allow it to cool, then create cross hatched lines with a knife and scoop out squash flesh with a spoon.  

We had a very full house.  My mom is at the head of the table here, enjoying her milestone birthday  I asked people to bring haiku poems to share with my mother in honor of her birthday.  We collected them in a blank book.  My directions were not entirely clear and everyone thought they had to write the poems themselves.  Whoops!  She is holding a beautiful quilt made by a friend, Fern.  The quilt’s pattern followed a haiku structure – 5 blocks, 7 blocks, and 5 blocks.

All I can say is thank goodness for friends, family, good food, good times, and folding tables!

Cream of Butternut Squash Soup – one very full slow cooker

1. Cut 1 butternut squash in half.  Remove seeds and roast at 350 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes or until soft.  Allow to cool.  Cut cross hatched lines into squash, remove flesh with spoon.  

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, saute, 1/2 yellow onion, diced until soft.  Add 2 minced cloves of garlic, saute another 2 minutes.  Put onion mixture into slow cooker.  Add 6 cups of vegetable broth.  Turn slow cooker on high.  

3.  Peel and dice 3 large baking potatoes.  Add to slow cooker.  Add 6 sliced stalks of celery to slow cooker.  Mix in 1 can of butternut squash puree.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Put lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 4 – 5 hours or low for 6 – 7 hours, or until potatoes are soft and tender.  

4.  Once potatoes are cooked, add butternut squash chunks from 1/2 of the roasted butternut squash. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons maple syrup, stir.  

5.  In the last 5 minutes before serving, stir in 2 cups cream, half-and-half, or coconut creamer and 1 tablespoon tomato paste.  

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