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Adventures in CSA: Butternut Squash Soup

Once again my CSA box arrived and I unpacked it with excitement. Always seasonal, I was hoping for some type of winter squash (pumpkin, butternut, acorn, etc.) to make a homey soup for week-two course-two of this series and once again, the box did not disappoint.
Packed with end-of-summer / beginning-of-fall goodies, I could have taken these ingredients in several directions but ultimately I landed on a never-fail, always-comforting, sweet-and-savory butternut squash soup. One of the beauties of soup is you can use almost whatever you have on hand; For example, I’ve made this recipe using both carrots and sweet potatoes, as both add a layer of flavor and color enhancement. Additionally, I don’t particularly love Granny Smith apples but I always have Fijis or Galas around to snack on. No need to buy a variety-specific for this recipe, just use what you have. Likewise, the same with the onion. I usually have yellow onions on hand due to their versatility but sweet, white, even shallots could work for this soup. Easy is the keyword here.  

While I made this recipe even easier by throwing it all into an Instapot and “setting and forgetting”, this recipe is just as delicious and simple on your stove-top. I’ve included both methods below. Bon Appetit!  

Butternut Squash Soup

Prep Time: 20 min

Makes: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 TBS olive oil or butter
  • 1 Onion, any kind, peeled and chunked
  • 4 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Cups chicken  or vegetable stock *vegetable stock makes this a vegan recipe
  • 2 Carrots OR 1 sweet potato, peeled and chunked 
  • 1 Apple, any kind, peeled and chunked
  • 1 Medium butternut squash, peeled and chunked 
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 TSP. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Can coconut milk
  • A few sprigs fresh sage

Directions

  1. Heat 2 TBS olive oil or butter in a large pot over medium heat; if using an Instapot, use the sauté function
  2. Sauté onion for a few mins, adding garlic once onions start to turn translucent, continue to sauté for a few more minutes until tender  
  3. Add stock, carrots or sweet potato, apple and butternut squash, salt & pepper to the pot. Heat on medium-high until a simmer is reached, cover, turn down to medium-low and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender enough to mash with a fork; if using Instapot turn from sauté to manual, cover, ensuring the valve is set to seal, set for 8 minutes.   
  4. Remove from heat; for Instapot, shift valve to release. Add cinnamon and coconut milk. Let ingredients cool for a few minutes
  5. Once cool enough to handle, transfer contents of the pot to a high-powered blender. Do not overcrowd the blender, you may need to do a few batches. Ensure the top of the blender has an opening to release heat – this is important to avoid a blender blow up and a huge mess! If preferred, an emersion or hand blender will also work
  6. Purée until smooth, season with additional salt, pepper, and cinnamon as necessary. You can also add ground cayenne or cumin for additional flavor profiles 
  7. For garnish: pan fry sage in remaining oil or butter; top soup and serve. Additional garnish options to a slight crunch could be pumpkin seeds, pan-fried prosciutto, or croutons

About Chef Gina Veneziano

Hailing from a long line of chefs, Gina spent much of her early childhood at her family’s restaurant.  Always wanting to make a career of it, she has spent the last 15 years doing everything from interning at a butcher shop to concepting food trucks to catering sales to most recently, recipe development and culinary innovations. She prides herself in being the only person to successfully recreate her grandmother’s famous meatballs – you can usually catch her, apron on, and a glass of prosecco in hand – cheers! 

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