This is a very versatile soup - you can use different broths, vegetable or poultry, or water. You can make this vegan or vegetarian, and by default, the soup is gluten-free. You can change up the types of vegetables you want to use, or leave out the pumpkin altogether. We'll start with my basic recipe.
Did I mention this recipe has only 257 calories per serving?
Cost: around ten bucks, less if you make your own stock or broth.
You will need:
A large soup pot
A stick blender or regular blender
The ability to halve a large squash without injuring oneself
The ability to purchase pre-cubed squash.
1 large butternut squash
1 large or 2 small or medium sweet onions
half a bag of baby cut carrots or 3 regular carrots
2 red, yellow or orange peppers or a combo
1 bulb of garlic
4 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups milk - almond, soy, rice all work well too to make it vegan, OR 1 cup of cream
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 cups vegetable, chicken or turkey broth or water
1/2 can of pumpkin puree
salt to taste
Optional: 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, pumpkin seeds for garnish, black sea salt, pumpkin
Step 1: A-le Cuisine!
Wash peppers and remove stickers
Slice off the top 1/3 of the garlic bulb
Halve the squash and de-seed
On a baking sheet large enough to hold everything, line with foil
Place the butternut squash cut side down, and arrange the other veggies however you want, without crowding them.
Wrap the garlic bulb in another piece of foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, tightly seal and place on sheet.
Drizzle the remaining veggies with the rest of the olive oil.
Roast at 400 degrees for 60 minutes, turning the peppers twice for even blackening.
Step 2: Roasted!
Turn off heat and remove from oven. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then flip over the squash and scoop out the flesh into a large soup pot. Try not to get too much of the skin. Scoop up the onions and carrots and toss them in the pot. Carefully, pick a corner of pepper skin and peel it off. It should come off easily, in several large pieces. Pull off the stems, and use a fork to pick up pieces of the pepper flesh and add to pot. You shouldn't have any problem with the inner seeds. If you get some hangers on seeds from the squash or peppers, throw them in the pot too - don't worry about rinsing off a couple of seeds if they stick to the pepper flesh - they're edible, and you don't want to rinse off flavor.
Unwrap the garlic, hold over the pot and squeeze gently. You should have a dozen or so roasted garlic cloves fall into the pot. allow any leftover oil to fall in as well, and from the original baking sheet of foil - don't throw out the now flavored oil!
Step 3: Will It Blend???
If you don't have a stick blender, you can just dump everything into your regular blender and puree the snot out of it. Seriously, it took about a minute of stick blending to puree everything completely.
Be careful, everything may still be hot at this point, try not to splatter liquid on yourself.
Return the puree to the pot from the blender if you used it, and put on medium heat.
It was at this point that I remembered I had half a can of pumpkin puree leftover from making a pumpkin pie - the puree should have nothing in it except pumpkin - do not use the 'pumpkin pie filling' can. If you have puree and want it, add it at this point - about 15 oz or one regular size - about 2 cups.
Add 1.5 cups either of your milk, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, whatever you have.
Using cream instead of milk makes it, well, much creamier, but also makes the calories skyrocket.
Add parm cheese if using it, it should melt nicely.
Add the cornstarch - I like it because it adds just a bit of thickness.
Stir to combine. My turkey broth was homemade and had no salt, so I added a teaspoon of salt to my soup. Add regular or cracked black pepper, then taste and adjust. Allow to simmer on low heat for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.
Serve in large bowls garnished with grated Parmesan cheese, pumpkin seeds and/or black sea salt. If you use the canned pumpkin, this makes 5-6 generous servings, otherwise, it makes around 4 - but my idea of a serving isn't a dinky flat bowl, either.
Estimated Calories via caloriecount.com, for 6 servings, with pumpkin:
A mere 257 calories in a whole bowl of soup, not including garnish.