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Autumn is the perfect time to retreat to the kitchen. Nights are longer, days are chilly, and a home-cooked meal is so comforting. Soup is a staple of mine. It is easy, you can make a big pot and freeze the extra, and it delivers a hit of nutrients and hydration that is perfect before or after yoga.

butternut-squash-soup2

I like to add a few new recipes to my soup collection every year, and this one caught my eye because of the addition of toasted cashews to an old favourite, butternut squash. Adding nuts boosts the protein, fibre and healthy fat content of the soup and makes it filling enough for a meal.

The original recipe from What A Girl Eats calls for dairy but I might substitute coconut milk or soya cream diluted with a little water. I’m tempted to add some spice too — either fresh chopped birds’ eye chillies or a dash of hot sauce.

What would you add? Share your variations in the comments!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, cubed.
  • 400ml chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 60g butter or coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Heavy cream or coconut milk
  • Kosher salt, and white pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Halve squash and place cut side up in a baking pan with ½” of water. bake uncovered for about 45 minutes. Squash won’t be fully cooked, but slightly tender. Cool.Using a vegetable peeler, peel of outer skin and scrap inside to remove seeds and stringy fibers. Cut into cubes.
  3. In a Dutch oven or large pot heat butter/coconut oil and olive oil until hot and shimmering. Add shallots and stir, for a minute or two. Add garlic, stir. Add squash and broth and bring to a boil. Add thyme and bay leaf, reduced heat and cover. Simmer on low about 45 minutes until squash is tender. Remove bay leaf and thyme sticks, if there are any
  4. Puree soup using an immersion blender or upright blender, until smooth.
  5. Return soup to pot, add cream or coconut milk to thin to desired consistency. Finish with toasted, chopped cashews and a drizzle of cream.

Read the full recipe at What A Girl Eats

photo credit: prideandvegudice Butternut Squash Soup! via photopin (license)

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