Simple Squash Soup with Pecan Parsley Pesto
Even if you normally don’t like butternut squash soup, I dare you to try this. Let your taste buds be seduced. Thanks to the parsley, the pesto is subtle, so even if you’re not a pesto person, chances are you pesto-avoidance days are done.
Butternut Squash Soup:
1 large butternut squash or kobocha squash
1 large sweet white onion
1 bag of frozen organic sweet corn
2 Rapunzel organic vegetable bouillon
4 cups of water*
1 Tbsp ghee or Kerrygold salted butter (use up to 3 tbsp if you're feeling frisky)
1 clove garlic,
2 tsp of freshly ground nutmeg
Pink salt & black pepper to taste.
*If you prefer to use vegetable or chicken broth, rather than bouillon & water, keep the measurement the same, using 4 cups of liquid.
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 cup fresh basil
2/3 cup pecans
2/3 cup grated Parmesan, from raw milk if possible
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground black pepper, pink salt to taste.
ROAST: Preheat oven to 400 deg F on roast if possible, if not, use bake. Wash the butternut squash thoroughly & cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds & place squash on a buttered baking sheet, skin-side up. When the squash is done roasting, usually about 30 minutes, you should be able to easily pierce it with a fork.
The sugars from it will brown & collect on the baking sheet, when the time comes, these sugars should be scraped into the soup to add more flavor.
MEANWHILE: While the squash roasts, start preparing the remaining ingredients. In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic, brown making sure not to burn the oil. Add chopped onion & caramelize. When onions are soft & translucent add frozen corn, bouillon, and pepper. After corn has fully cooked, add water. Cover & bring to a simmer.
SIMMERING: When squash is finished roasting, cut into cubes and add to pot (I keep the skin of the squash on, but you can’t tell either way once it has been pureed). Add squash “sugars” from the baking sheet. After 5 minutes of simmering, turn off heat & puree in a blender or food processor (I prefer blender) in batches. Be sure to hold the top of whatever blender you use - heat causes these to explode more often than not.
Once soup is a smooth uniform texture, return to the pot over low heat, stirring every couple of minutes. Add nutmeg.
TOASTY: Spread pecans on a baking sheet (or tin foil) and roast them for 5 minutes. You will know when the pecans are done roasting by their taste and aromatic fragrance. Roasting makes the pecans crunchier, and exaggerates their nutty-sweet flavor.
BLEND: Remove stems from the very bottom of the parsley & from the basil. Add all pesto ingredients to a food processor, aside from the olive oil. Process until smooth (or desired texture - I like my pesto with more texture). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
TOP IT OFF: Top soup with pesto & a drizzle of EVOO when serving.
Personally, I love this recipe with Kobocha squash, which is a dark green skinned, orange flesh squash that tastes sweeter and more nutty than the traditional butternut. If you use Kobocha it's best to break off the stem and roast it whole (about 30 to 40 minutes at 400 deg F), then remove the skin and seeds and cut into pieces to add to the soup mixture. Additionally, you may need to add more water or broth because it's flesh is a bit more dense.
Thanks for the request from my client! More soup recipes to come? Any other recipes you feel your life is incomplete without?
Alyssa Neill, RDN