Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup for the Thanksgiving Table

I remember when the girls were babies.  Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, peas, even spinach were all some of their favorites.  I'm not sure exactly when the transformation took place, maybe it was when they realized the sheer joy a power struggle brings.  Today, I find myself pleading with them to TRY the zucchini, sweet potato or other vegetable on their plate they believe I am trying to poison them with.  I remind them of the days when I needed to wash the peas out of their hair and had to limit the amount of sweet potatoes they could consume in one sitting.  They shake their heads in disbelief.  I'm sure it won't be long before Riley will learn to role her eyes at me.  Heartbreaking.

Despite my children's new found dislike for butternut squash, I made this soup as a side dish to serve with dinner.  My hope is that with repeated exposure, their love for all things garden fresh will return.  Until then, bribery will suffice.

I however, happen to LOVE butternut squash.  This soup is deliciously sweet, creamy, and a perfect side dish for the Thanksgiving table!  It actually tastes better when made a day or two ahead of time.  Enjoy!
Lola definitely enjoys a good power struggle, but when it comes to food, she will eat ANYTHING!!!!

Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 T butter
  • 6 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of apple cider (optional)

  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in butter until tender. Add squash*, broth, cider (if using), marjoram, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for about  20 minutes until squash is tender.  Stir in cream cheese and allow to melt through.
  2. Puree soup mixture in a blender, food processor or use an immersion blender**, until smooth.  Return to the soup pot, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.

* I like to roast my squash first at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes (or longer if the chunks are bigger).  It adds a nice caramelized sweetness to the soup!

** I bought an immersion blender at Wal-mart a few years ago for around $15.  I don't use it often but it really comes in handy for recipes like this. Here is the newer version of the one I have.

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