EASY VEGAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Comfort food is a beautiful thing, especially when the temperature is biting and the chill gets in your bones. Cold, dreary weather is soup weather, so today, we are passing our favorite butternut squash soup recipe on to you!

Not only does butternut squash look inviting and nutritious, it’s a hefty source of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Here’s a fun fact: butternut squash is classified as a fruit, because it contains seeds! Who would have guessed that?

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The orange color of this fruit is common in foods that contain beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is great for our skin and immune systems, but you probably recognize its name from hearing that it does good things for your eye health. Additionally, it’s full of fiber and folate, which is a win for heart health; potassium, which keeps our bones strong; and vitamin B6, which contributes to the health of our nervous and immune systems. And don’t forget about vitamin C--butternut squash can provide nearly half of your RDA with just one cup!

When choosing a butternut squash, look for one that’s kind of heavy with a matte skin. If the skin is glossy, leave it where you found it.

While there are numerous satisfying ways you could prepare butternut squash, like cubed and cooked into a pot of lentils, stuffed into a tortilla with sautéed spinach, or as a stand-alone side dish, this soup is just what the doctor ordered while we wait for spring to reappear. So without further ado, here are the steps to getting the gourd from the market and into a bowl on your table.

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups vegetable broth (You can make your own by placing 3 stalks of chopped celery, one onion cut in quarters with the skin on, 1 head of garlic sliced in half through the cloves with skin on, 2 chopped carrots, 1 tbsp sea salt, 6 cups of water, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp rosemary, and 1 tbsp dried basil to a crock pot and cooking it on medium for 8 hours. When time is up, strain the broth into a glass container and use or refrigerate.)

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed

3-5 peeled garlic cloves

½ of a sweet onion, sliced

I tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp spice blend (cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika)

½ tsp sea salt

Sunflower seeds (optional)

Preparation:

1.     Preheat the oven to 400. Toss the squash, garlic, and onion together with coconut oil in a bowl. Once all ingredients are covered, lay them out on a cookie sheet. Be sure to give the pieces of squash a little space between each other.

2.     Roast for 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and flip the ingredients on the cookie sheet, then roast for another 20 minutes. Check to see if a fork can go through the cubes of butternut squash. If so, remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. If not, keep cooking until tender.

3.     Place the squash mixture in a food processor, and slowly add the veggie broth, spice blend, and sea salt. Blend until smooth.

4.     Pour the mixture into a pot. Cook on medium until heated. DO NOT BOIL.

5.     Remove the soup from the heat, and add extra seasonings to taste. Garnish with sunflower seeds.

Once you try this recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment. Happy eating!