Butternut Squash Soup (Gluten + Dairy Free, with a vegan option)
I have the BEST Butternut Squash Soup recipe. It's creamy and thick, and completely dairy and gluten free. I make my chicken stock base from scratch, but you could use any chicken broth you like. (Or use veggie stock if you want to go vegetarian/vegan!)
What you'll need:
4-6 cups chicken (or other) stock
2-3 large leeks, chopped (not the entire leek, just the "bulb" and a bit of the green)
2 T olive oil (to sauteé the leeks)
2 butternut squash
3-6 baked potatoes, depending on size (I bake mine the night before)
1/2 cup coconut milk (low fat works—I pour in half a can)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or just drizzle some in to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
• green onions
• your favorite chopped nuts
• toasted pumpkin seeds
Instructions: (This soup isn't exact. Just add as much as you want of whatever you want. You can even pre-cook your bacon and add it in earlier.)
• Roast your butternut squash in the oven at 400 for about an hour. I like to wrap mine in foil and poke holes in them for steam release. I set them on a foil-lined cookie sheet for east clean up. Butternut squash can be hard to cut into raw, and this takes out the frustration and potential hazard of having to cleave your way into the squash! :)
(While they are roasting I make homemade chicken stock. But skip this step if you think it's overly ambitious.)
• After the squash is done, take it out to cool a bit.
• Pour your chicken or veggie stock into a large pot over medium heat.
• While that is warming up, sauteé the leeks in a pan until they start to brown and the white parts begin to become translucent. Set aside to cool for a minute.
• Unwrap and cup open the sqash. Scoop out all the seeds and stringy guts, and discard (the skin, too). Save the rest for the soup.
• Peel your apples and baked potatoes and chop them up (unless you want a heartier soup, then leave the skins on).
• Time to blend everything (leeks included)! You can EITHER blend them separately in a blender (I use a Vitamix to get a super blended texture like baby food). I blend the squash first, then put it in the pot with the chicken stock. Then I blend the potatoes. Then the apples and leeks. Add it all to the pot. OR you can use a hand blender to blend it right in the pot if you prefer. In that case, dump it all in and blend away (with the step below).
• Add your coconut milk and any water you might need to reach a desired consistency (my hubby prefers a well-blended thick soup).
• Season to taste.
• Turn up the heat until boiling, then back down to simmer until everything is happy and warm. Since everything is pretty much pre-cooked, this step goes by fast.
• Ladle into bowls and top with your favorite toppings. I always have enough to save in jars in my freezer.