Monday, January 2, 2012

Soup, Soup, Glorious Soup

For Christmas, Jeff's parents gave us a blender and huge cast iron pot, both of which I wanted to christen with a big batch of soup. I've never made any soups besides chili and was craving hearty, winter flavors. I decided to create a butternut squash soup and jazz it up with lots of extras.

After enjoying my first bowl, this is without a doubt one of my new favorite meals. Roasting the squash gave the soup had so much natural flavor that it barely needed any spices. The cayenne pepper gave it an extra kick and the milk and yogurt gave it the velvety texture that would otherwise come from cream. It felt healthy yet totally filling, rich, and flavorful. I'm already dreaming up other blended soups as well as thinking about the next time that I can make this recipe!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Spinach, Bacon, and Yogurt
Roasted veggies
Perfectly crisp bacon
Into the blender!
From blender to pot to reheat
Beautiful little grilled cheeses
With all the fixings


(Makes 4 large servings)

1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 can (14.5 ounces) low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 cup fat free milk
10-12 slices low sodium bacon
1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
2 cups cooked spinach
1/4 cup olive oil
Cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste

For grilled cheese:

4 slices Udi's whole grain gluten-free bread
4 slices cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange butternut squash and onion on a large cookie sheet, cover with olive oil, toss, and roast in oven for approximately 40 minutes.

Heat large skillet on medium heat. Add slices of bacon, approximately 4 at a time, and cook on both sides for 3-4 minutes or until crispy. Remove to plate and blot with paper towels. When bacon is cooled, cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

When squash and onion are finished roasting, add half of each to the blender with 1/2 can chicken broth and 1/2 cup milk. Blend until desired smoothness (I did it on the soup or puree setting until creamy). Pour soup into large pot and simmer. Repeat blending with remaining squash, onion, broth, and milk. Season soup with cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste.

While the soup was heating, I cooked up two gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches for dipping!

To serve, add 1/2 cup spinach to the bottom of a soup bowl. Ladle soup on top, add a 1/4 cup of yogurt and a handful (approximately 2 slices) of bacon pieces.


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