Did you know that you can peel a butternut squash with any old vegetable peeler? I didn't. When a friend of mine mentioned it I rushed home, grabbed my trusty old potato peeler from my colleges days and tried it out. It actually worked!! When you make this recipe you can cook the squash any way you like but I prefer to peel it, chop into chunks and roast it. Then I puree it in a blender to a smooth, creamy consistency. It's great on cold rainy with a chunk of fresh bread or as a lovely little party appetizer.
NOTE: The turmeric in this recipe will stain a plastic blender cup, you can either leave out the turmeric or clean the blender cup with a baking soda paste and it should come right off.
The inspiration for this recipe came from a dinner out with my fiancé. We were at a restaurant called Yankee Pier and I tried their butternut squash soup and loved it. I have no idea what is in theirs but I decided to come home and try to make my own vegan, oil-free version and this is what I came up with.
Preparation time: Cooking time: Total Time:
low-sodium vegetable stock
Preheat oven 450ºF and spray a large baking dish with non-stick spray, or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel the butternut squash with a regular vegetable peeler, then cut it in half lengthwise. If the squash is too hard to get your knife through then you will need to use a large knife and a rubber mallet. Place the squash on a large cutting board. Wedge the knife into the squash, then with the sharp end of the knife facing down gently tap it with the rubber mallet repeatedly until it goes all the way through the squash. You will want to hit the spine of the blade at either the tip (see first photo below) or near the bolster (see second photo below).
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard (see third photo below).
Cut the squash into 1" cubes and place in the dish or on the paper lined baking sheet, spreading them out so they form a single layer.
Bake for 15 minutes, flip over then bake for another 15 minutes until they are soft enough to put a fork into.
Place the cooked squash (should measure at about 2 cups) into the blender along with 4 cups of vegetable stock, and all of the spices.
Blend until smooth then place in a sauce pan to heat to desired temperature.
Garnish with parsly and saffron and serve it warm with crunchy whole grain toast!