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Fall Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Cream

Perfect on a chilly night. This soup is easy, economical, packed with many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. The spices add a bit of a kick and the coconut cream is well, heavenly. Enjoy!

buternut_squash_soup

2 medium butternut squash, each cut lengthwise in half, seeds removed
3 medium sized tart apples (Honey Crisp, Cortland, Granny Smith)
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
1 medium cooking onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chipotle chili powder or dried chili flakes
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
4 cups of veggie stock
2 cups water
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Coconut Cream (see recipe below), raw or toasted pumpkin seeds and/or fresh chives for garnish-Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil or just use a high quality cookie sheet that doesn’t stick.

-Place squash halves, cut sides down, in lined pan, and roast about 45 minutes or until very tender when pierced with a knife. During the last 10 minutes of baking place the apples, whole, on baking sheet.

-Continue baking until the 10 minutes is up. Cool until easy to handle, then, with spoon, scoop squash from skins and place in large bowl.

-Discard skins. Keep the peel on the apples and simply cut into large slices and discard the core.

-Meanwhile, in 5- to 6-quart saucepot, heat oil on medium until hot. Add celery and onion, and cook 10 minutes. Stir in cumin, chipotle chili, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cook 30 seconds, stirring.

-Add broth, water, and squash to saucepot; cover and heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 10mins. The longer you simmer it, the better it tastes!

-In batches, ladle squash mixture into blender. With center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape, blend squash mixture until pureed. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf!

-Pour soup into large bowl. Return all soup to saucepot and heat through. Garnish each serving with a dollop or swirl of coconut cream, raw or toasted pumpkin seeds and/or fresh chives. Makes 10.5 cups (great for freezing).

Coconut Cream

1 cup coconut meat, soaked in water for 4 hours*
1 cup water
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract or 2 inches of scraped vanilla bean

-Drain and rinse macadamia nuts
-Combine nuts, water, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
-Refrigerate until ready to serve
*I often use raw soaked cashews when coconut is not available.
Makes approx. 2 cups

 

By Melissa Macchione, RHN