It’s Autumn, a beautiful time of the year. The time for cooler weather, wearing sweaters, snuggling near the fireplace, shopping at your local farmers market and enjoying the beautiful changing colors of the leaves. It’s also a great reason to eat more delicious and warm soup. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you can prepare this delicious soup ahead of time and serve it for this great holiday!
I grew up eating soup with most meals, even in the summer. They are nutritious and packed with many nutrients because soups are made with mainly vegetables. Eating soups packed with vegetables are a great way to help lower cholesterol and a delicious way of getting your children to eat their vegetables.
Butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A and C, fiber and potassium and beta-carotene (great for your eyes). And let’s not forget about those seeds! Scoop them out, rinse them off and bake them with a drizzle of olive oil, some salt and you can add some more nutritional crunch to your meal. Plus, it makes a nice presentation.
Squash seeds are high in unsaturated fat, which, while calorie dense, can be beneficial. The National Institutes of Health explains that increasing your intake of unsaturated fat and protein at the expense of carbohydrates may aid in decreasing your risk of heart disease. Besides that, they are also a great snack!
To prepare the seeds, preheat your oven to 300 degrees.To clean the seeds, once you cut the squash, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and place in a colander. Pinch away all the large chunks of squash flesh and strings. Place the colander under cool running water and remove any additional squash flesh. Shake colander to remove water. Dump the seeds out onto a towel and pat to dry. Place the seeds on a baking tray and drizzle with a small amount of oil, approximately 1 teaspoon for 3/4 cup of seeds. Add a pinch or two of salt.Toss the seeds until they are evenly coated with oil and salt. Spread out so they are in a single layer, although some overlapping is fine. Place the baking sheet into the oven. Roast until the seeds are just starting to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. It’s that simple. If you are preparing this with a little one, this is a fun and safe prep of the soup for them to do.
Now, if you want to make this a vegan soup, just omit the crispy sage leaves since they are crisped in butter. But if you want to include the flavor of sage and still have the soup remain vegan, add the sage leaves in with the bouquet garni. See how easy that is?
Serve this with some buttery French Brioche or French crusty bread and you have a delicious, warm and nutritious meal that will have everyone licking their spoon. But as always, Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Seeds & Crispy Sage Leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2-2 pound butternut squash, peeled, chopped, seeds removed
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bouquet garni; 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 bay leaf, 3 stems of parsley ( If making this vegan add 2 stems of sage leaves)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon cardomon
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For frying Sage Leaves:
- 3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 sage leaves
In a large stockpot heat the olive oil. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is transparent, about 8 minutes. Add in the butternut squash and cook to soften, about 10 minutes. Remember to stir the vegetables. Add in the apples. To make sure all of the seasoning is well distributed, I added them all into the vegetable stock and then poured into the pot. Give it a good stir and add in the bouquet garni. Bring to a boil and then lower to a soft simmer for about 30-40 minutes, until the squash is fork tender.
In the meantime, prepare the seeds. Wash and separate from the flesh. Pat dry. Season with salt and olive oil and place on a sheet pan in a preheated 300 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove.
For the sage leaves, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add in the sage leaves and allow to crisp up, about 8 minutes. Remove with a fork or tongs and place onto a paper towel.
Remove the bouquet garni. Carefully, either ladle into a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
Serve the soup with some pumpkin seeds and sage leaves onto of the soup with your choice of bread.