Butternut Squash is a type of winter squash that grows on a vine. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. Like all members of the gourd family (which includes pumpkin, melon, and cucumber), butternut squash is technically a fruit because it contains seeds.
When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. It is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium; and it is a source of vitamin A. One of the most common ways to prepare butternut squash is roasting. The nutritional content of squash makes it beneficial for digestion, blood pressure, and for healthy skin and hair, among others.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, one cup of cooked, cubed butternut squash, contains:
1.8 grams of protein
21.50 grams of carbohydrate
4 grams of sugar
6.6 grams of dietary fiber
Butternut Squash Soup has low energy density. This means it provides a lot of nutrients without containing a lot of calories. Consuming foods that are low energy density may help you to lose weight; since their high water and fiber contents help fill you up and keep you full longer.
Roasting the squash at high heat, 425 degrees, until caramelized enhances its sweetness significantly and brings out its best possible flavor.
1 – 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 cups homemade or store-bought chicken or vegetable stock, plus more as needed
2 sprigs fresh thyme or palm full of dried
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup 1/2 and 1/2 (optional)
Pinch ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash and carrot with coconut oil and arrange on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast until squash and carrot are caramelized, about 40 minutes; use thongs to turn pieces 2 or 3 times during cooking. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, cook 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat until just starting to brown. Add onion and garlic, lower heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until soft and lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
Add squash and carrot to saucepan and remove from heat. Pour 1/2 cup of stock into each baking sheet and scrape up any browned bits, then pour into saucepan. Add remaining stock, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf and return to medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 10 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
Using a high-powered blender or immersion blender, blend soup until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Return soup to saucepan and thin, if necessary, with additional stock until desired consistency is reached. Add 1/2 and 1/2. Keep warm.