Looking at the title for this post with all the dietary qualifiers, I feel like I don’t even sound like myself. Where is the baker Godmother, the cheese-loving Godmother, the Godmother that rivals Paula Deen and Ina Garten in her love of good-quality butter? She’s here. She just started making this soup several years ago by piecing together a few things in the fridge and never really stopped making it that way.
If you had a glimpse into our daily menu, which you sort of do in a way now, you’d see that most of what we eat is very simple, and on the healthier side. It’s simple because the Godfather and I are busy people, we always have been, and healthier because we choose to emphasize whole foods in our diet. We are healthier that way, and in turn, more productive. You really don’t need much to dress up fresh foods, and the flavor is unmatchable by anything artificial. And if you eat healthier, there’s more room for treats… balance!
This soup happened one day in California when the Godfather was off on a business trip and I was fending for myself. When I cook for me and it requires more work than say, salad, I make a big pot and eat leftovers. I had a beautiful butternut squash, probably from the farmer’s market, some homemade broth (maybe… this was around the time I was transitioning away from store bought), onions, garlic, and almond milk in the fridge. My office at the time was on a breakfast smoothie kick and one of the other ladies got me started adding almond milk to my smoothie. So with those ingredients, and probably the motivation of a chilly California evening, I decided to make soup by basically throwing things into a pot, crossing my fingers, and praying it all turned out. Which obviously it did.
I didn’t realize how well it turned out until I took leftovers to work the next day and one of the ladies in the accounting department smelled my lunch and said “What is that? It smells reeeeaaally good!”. I told her how I made it, and made a mental note to make it for the Godfather later. He liked it, so this became how we make butternut squash soup.
In the recipe I used cream of coconut instead of almond milk because that’s what I have right now, and I’m not making my own almond milk just to stay Whole30 compliant. The coconut cream was easier to use and I’ve used it several times before. You may also use regular heavy cream, and I’ve included measurements for almond milk and heavy cream in the notes.
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 lbs), peeled and cubed
- 5 cups vegetable broth (homemade or store bought)
- ½ large sweet onion (about 1 cup chopped)
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 14 oz can of cream of coconut*
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- (optional) ¼ c chopped hazelnuts
- Heat your olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, cook for 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook an additional 3-4 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the butternut squash and stir to coat, then cook for 2 minutes or so before adding all the broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes until the butternut squash is cooked and can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Remove the soup from the heat, scoop out 2 cups of broth, and puree the rest with an immersion blender.**
- Place the soup back on the burner over low heat and stir in the cream of coconut, almond milk, or heavy cream. Do not let the soup boil, you just want to warm the new ingredient.
- Slowly add in the reserved stock until you have reached the desired consistency. Save the rest for use in a future soup or for making pasta or rice.
- Optional To toast hazelnuts, roughly chop the nuts or smash with the broad side of a knife. Place a skillet over medium low heat and add the hazelnuts to the pan. Stir regularly for 3-5 minutes until the nuts are lightly toasted. Immediately remove from heat. Use to top your soup!
**I don't have an immersion blender currently (it's on my wish list) and our blender broke, so I use my large food processor.