Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays. However, sometimes we seem to lose the spirit of the meaning behind the holiday as we get focused on the event. The stress can build up and perhaps like me, you can get a bit frazzled by having all the family in one place at one time. Ahem… and maybe that stress leads to you rationalizing why it’s ok to eat a bigger piece of pie!
Recently, I have been taking back the holiday. I see it as a time of gratitude and a time to honour those around me and take extra care of myself too. All the richness of colour around us make me feel… well warm and good! I also love the abundance and bounty of so many root vegetables.
So in gratitude, I thought I would share with you one of the recipes that Terry and I will be enjoying this Thanksgiving – Butternut Squash Soup!
- 1 Large Butternut Squash, halved vertically and seeded
- 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
- ½ Cup Chopped Shallot (about 1 large shallot)
- 1 Tsp. Salt
- 4 Garlic Cloves, pressed or minced
- 1 Tsp. Maple Syrup
- 1/8 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
- 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. Butter, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place butternut squash on the pan and drizzle olive oil to coat the squash on the inside and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn squash face down and roast until it is tender and completely cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool. Use a large spoon to scoop the butternut squash flesh into a bowl and discard the tough skin.
In a medium skillet or pot, warm 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chopped shallot and 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot has softened and is starting to turn golden on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
High Performance Blender (Vitamix): transfer cooked shallot and garlic to blender. Add the reserved butternut, maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twist of freshly ground black pepper. Pour in 3 cups of vegetable broth, being careful not to fill the container past the fill line. Secure the lid and select the soup pre-set. The blender will stop running once the soup is super creamy and hot.
Immersion Blender: add the reserved squash to the pot, then add the broth, maple syrup, nutmeg and a few twists of ground black pepper. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 to 20 minutes. Carefully use your blender to blend the soup completely.
Some little tips to help:
- If you want to thin your soup a bit more, add the remaining cup of broth. Add 1 to 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil, to taste and blend well. Taste and add more salt or pepper as necessary.
- Serve immediately or let the soup cool completely before transferring to a proper storage container and refrigerating it for later.