Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Butternut & Acorn Squash Soup

As promised, today's post is dedicated to sharing my recipe with you!! This recipe has evolved, as I have changed this or that over the last few years of making it. It has reached a point of near perfection, though, I feel. And, of course, it is healthy and delightful. I feel that it is an amazing way to celebrate autumn, and fits right in with pumpkin breads and apple ciders and all other delicious, delectable, and savory/sweet simple joys that the seasonal transition brings.

1 butternut squash
1 acorn squash
3 tablespoons coconut oil (I use this in place of butter)
1 quart vegetable broth
1 good-sized organic apple of choice, preferably sweet like Honeycrisp or Stayman, etc. OR 1/3 cup brown sugar (raw cane sugar works well, also), but NOT both
1/2 cup (or more, if desired) of cashews, preferably soaked for best result (I use these in place of cream cheese)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
ground cinnamon to taste, if desired
sea salt, if desired, to taste
*optional* In years past, I've used 1/4 chopped sweet onion, which will need to be lightly sauteed if used. I've omitted it as I think the flavor is just fine without it. But if you desire to use it, go for it!

If you can't find acorn squash, just use 2 butternut squash for the recipe. It will still turn out wonderfully, I promise.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place squash halves cut-side down in glass baking dishes (you will need more than one in order to prepare all halves at once). Bake for 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool. Scoop pulp from skins, then discard the skins.
If you're using the onion, saute it in some of your coconut oil over medium heat until tender. If not, omit this step and reserve your coconut oil.
In a high-power blender or industrial-grade food processor, blend your squash pulp, onion (if used), coconut oil, vegetable broth, apple *or* brown sugar, cashews *or* cream cheese, pepper, salt, and cinnamon. Process until smooth and creamy. *This step may need to be done in several batches.*
Transfer your soup mix to a pot and warm up on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Can be served with an optional garnish of apple and/or parsley.

Make it your own; enjoy! Hope this well-loved recipe warms your bellies and hearts!

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