The following is my very favorite soup recipe. A local restaurant serves a jalapeno butternut squash soup and I have fallen in love with. However, I can hardly afford to eat out frequently so I decided to attempt to replicate it at home. It has truly become on of my favorite winter “cheap eats”. It’s also easy to make and that makes it even better!
I can make a big pot of this soup for under $7.00 and it will provide us lunch all week. That’s just $0.50 per lunch. Can’t beat it! (By the way….I did NOT pay $4.00 for the box of organic chicken broth. I bought it for $1.25 at my local discount grocery store!)
1 large or 2 small butternut squash
1 or 2 fresh jalapeno peppers (depending on how hot you like it…I stick to 1 if they’re large)
1 medium or large onion
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (to taste…sometimes I don’t use any)
cumin, salt and pepper
1 to 2 cups of fat-free sour cream or fat-free half and half (of course it’s best made with heavy cream, but my butt is big enough already….)
A large saucepan or small stockpot
A cookie sheet
A pie pan or 9×9 casserole dish
A food processor or blender (I use my Vita-Mix)
First, you’re going to cook all of the veggies. Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and “gookie stuff”. Cover the cookie sheet with foil and lay the squash face down on the sheet. You don’t have to cover it, but I do because it’s easier to clean up that way.
Cut the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds. Cut the onion into quarters or eighths and separate the segments. Peel the garlic and leave the cloves whole. Pour about a half-inch of water or chicken stock into the bottom of the pie plate or casserole dish and place the veggies in the pan.
Put all of your veggies in the oven and cook until soft. The squash is normally done before the other veggies. I would say it maybe takes an hour + a bit. Sorry….my recipes aren’t precise.
Keep an eye on the squash because it will be done first. When you can poke it and it feels soft, it’s done. Don’t over cook it or it will start to dry out. Take it out and set it aside to cool. Once it’s cool, remove the skin. Remove the other veggies when they’re soft. You may get a bit of “color” on the ends of your onions. Not to worry…..this just adds a nice roasted flavor. Mine are always like that.
Place your pot/pan over medium heat and add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cumin. Lightly roast the cumin in the dry pan until the smell becomes pungent. Don’t let it burn. I would assume this releases the oil or something….? Maybe it just sounds “fancy”. 🙂
Place some squash and veggies in the food processor along with enough liquid to blend it. Once it’s well blended, pour it into the pot on top of the cumin and stir. Continue to puree the veggies and liquid until you’ve transferred all ingredients to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer the soup for 30 minutes or so over low heat. You’ll probably want to put a lid on it as it bubbles and becomes quite messy otherwise. Stir it occasionally to prevent burning.