We’re big soup lovers around here. Homemade, thick, creamy and well seasoned. A big bowl definitely needs some croutons or crackers but we find that popcorn works great. Our butternut squash soup with popcorn croutons is a year-round favorite.
You can substitute almost any squash in our recipe but we’re butternut fans. It’s technically a winter squash but we can usually find it year-round in our supermarket. So, does this mean we eat hot soup in summer? Um…yes. There is no wrong time for soup.
Butternut has a sweet, nutty taste and orange flesh, like pumpkin. Full of fiber, vitamins and potassium, we sometimes roast the seeds for snacking too. When we’ve got a little extra time, we’ll roast the squash in the oven first to give it a deeper flavor before adding it to the soup pot. Not a requirement but definitely a flavor boost.
It’s easy enough to find pre-made cartons of butternut squash soup in the grocery store but nothing beats homemade. Plus there’s usually a lot of sugar in the ready made versions whereas we like to rely on the natural sweetness of the squash and pair it with savory seasonings. And once you’ve got the knack of soup making, it’s quite easy. Put up a big pot on Sunday and you have food for the week.
But, admittedly, just soup is kind of boring. We like “fixings” on our soup. Some herbs brighten up the flavor and cheese goes with everything. But we also need crunch. Bread croutons are great but our love of popcorn knows no bounds. We serve the soup with a big bowl of popcorn on the side and add as needed. And since we’ve already agreed that cheese goes well with this, we sprinkle on our own white cheddar popcorn seasoning.
Add the olive and diced onion to a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Sauté on medium heat for a few minutes until the onion begins to color slightly. Stir in the all-purpose flour and cook for an additional minute. Whisk in the vegetable stock and continue cooking and whisking until the flour is fully incorporated.
Peel, seed and cut the butternut squash into cubes. Add to the pot along with the salt and ground black pepper. If you're using ground cumin or smoked paprika, add it as well.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Remove from the heat and puree using a hand-held immersion blender or a regular blender. Note that, if you're using a regular blender you will need to work in batches so as not to over-fill the blender with hot liquid.
Serve topped with the popcorn, crumbled feta or goat cheese, if using, and herbs. Sprinkle on a touch of the Dell cove and serve popcorn and extra seasonings in a bowl on the side.
1. You can use low sodium chicken stock instead of the vegetable stock.
2. If you'd like a thicker soup, add a peeled and diced baking potato to the pot when you're cooking the soup.
3. If you'd like a creamier soup, stir in a cup of whole milk or plain Greek yogurt once the soup is pureed.
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