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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Easy and Healthy Butternut Squash Curried Soup

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[click on image for recipe]
I love smooth and creamy soups in the fall and winter, but without lots of potatoes.  I've discovered I am not a big fan of potato-based soups.  Just my preference and I'm owning it.  hehe 

 I've tried lots of squash soups, but none of them have ever had that extra something that I could endorse.  So as usual, I came up with my own concoction that is sure to please.  It's easy, healthy, and delicious.  With not even one gram of fat per serving, but loaded with fiber (7 grams), this soup is sure to sustain! 
Be sure to have the following ingredients:
[two fresh butternut squash packages found at Walmart, carrots, granny smith apple, onion, garlic, low-fat chicken or vegetable stock, and half and half]
note:  I had heavy whipping cream so I did half cream half milk

Start by sweating a whole diced onion in a tablespoon of olive oil or butter. Peel, core and thinly slice one granny apple, add it to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally until tender and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook about one minute.    

I'm all about cutting corners in cooking, without compromising flavor.  This step doesn't affect flavor, but is much faster.  Microwave about 1 1/2 cups of baby carrots for about 5 minutes until tender [I usually use regular carrots, but this is what I had on hand.  Dice regular carrots and microwave just the same].  
Add squash and carrots to onion and apples.  Continue to cook about 10 minutes or until squash is tender.

Add 6 cups of chicken stock, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon thyme [optional] and 1/2-1 teaspoon of curry [optionial].  If you like curry like I do, be sure to add one teaspoon.  Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer , stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Discard bay leaf.

My favorite way to blend soups is with a hand blender.  But if you don't have a hand blender, you can work in batches and puree your soup [be careful!]   Blend until smooth; return soup to pot and add 1/4-1/2 cup half and half.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. 
*Serves 6
*160 calories/serving
*>1 gram fiber per serving
*7 grams fiber
*5 grams sugar
*loaded with Potassium 670 mg)
*342% Vitamin A
*50% Vitamin C

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