As soon as the temperatures drop, I’m all about the comfort foods. More specifically, I love the soothing warmth of soups and stews. There’s just something about the rich, creamy and sometimes hearty textures of these foods that is like a warm hug in your tummy. This particular soup comes from one of my favourite chefs, Candice Kumai. When it comes to food, her and I share the same philosophy which is eat foods with benefits. Why wait until the New Year to adopt such a delicious philosophy?
This butternut squash soup is so easy to whip up. A drop of maple syrup and a few pinches of pumpkin spice add so much depth to the flavours. And the heavy cream is swapped for Greek yogurt and almond milk for a boost of protein without the added fat and calories. But don’t worry, nor your tastebuds or anyone else will be able to tell the difference.
Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Candice Kumai
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 lbs butternut squash, peeled, halved and chopped into cubes
2 apples (I used Gala), coarsely chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice + more for garnish
Nonfat Greek yogurt, for garnish
1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. Add the squash and apple, and cook until golden brown stirring regularly, about 15 minutes.
2. Add 3 1/2 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until the apples and squash are tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Transfer the soup to a blender in batches. Don’t fill your blender more than 3/4 of the way up and make sure to leave the top slightly open to let steam escape. Otherwise, the steam will literally blow the top off. Add 1/4 cup of the almond milk, the maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Pulse a few times to release the heat, then blend until smooth. Pour into a clean saucepan and repeat with the remaining soup and almond milk until it has all been blended. If your soup seems thick, add the rest of the chicken broth.
4. Heat the soup over medium heat until warm. Serve topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. It’s also a great side to a apple walnut Gruyère grilled cheese.
[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]