I love butternut squash. I love butternut squash soup. Many of them are sweet. This one is savory.
Many are riddled with cream. This soup has no dairy, no gluten, just a trace amount of fat from 1 tbs of olive oil. I used chicken stock, but one could substitute vegetable stock to make it vegan. So essentially, this amazing, thick, filling and insanely tasty soup is nothing but veggie and broth. Crazy, right?! For the meat lovers out there, like my own boys, add some crumbled browned sausage to the soup upon serving. And nothing complements this as well as a healthy piece of crusty bread.
1 large head of cauliflower cut into florets
4 Cups of cubed butternut squash (I buy precut)
1 16 oz can of cannellini beans
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
I cup of chopped onion
1-2 Tbs olive oil
2 Bay leaves
4 sage leaves
2-3 sprigs of oregano (peeled from the stems)
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375
I start by roasting the veggies. Roasting enhances their flavor. It’s worth taking the time to do this. You’ll thank me for this. On two separate baking sheets, place the cauliflower and the butternut squash. Gently spritz them with olive oil and salt them lightly. Place them in the middle of the oven for about 25 - 30 minutes or until lightly browned. The squash may need a little more time than the cauliflower.
While the veggies are roasting in the oven, add the chicken (or veg) stock to a large saucepan with the herbs and the white beans that have been rinsed and drained from the can. Simmer for about 30 minutes on low on a back burner.
Optional - In a small pan brown and crumble some sweet Italian or chicken sausage. When the sausage is thoroughly cooked and well browned, remove from the pan and set aside. Would also be fantastic with diced up leftover holiday ham. But I quite enjoy it on its own.
In the same small pan add the onions, garlic and olive oil. Turn heat to low and cook until translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
When the cauliflower and squash are done remove from oven. Add half of the cauliflower to the soup, set the rest aside to be added to the soup later. Add the squash. Keep simmering for another 30-45 minutes so that the flavors set in.
PRIOR TO PUREEING REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES!!!
Remove from heat, using an immersion blender puree the soup until well blended. When the soup has reached the desired consistency add the sauteed onions and stir them into the soup.
Add sausage to individual bowls for those who wish.
Add remaining roasted cauliflower for those who wish.
If not serving immediately, replace on the stove until ready to serve, or place in fridge for a future meal.
I love the hearty thickness of the soup, but if you desire something a bit smoother add a cup of broth and use a standing blender instead of the immersion blender.