One of my best friends loves mixing food…we have laughed many times over the years at some of her more creative concoctions. Her mixing has led to many winning combos but this butternut squash soup and toppings bar is one of her best strokes of genius yet. The warm and velvety butternut squash soup is fast to make and really comforting on a cold winter night and the toppings bar addition is really fun for a girls night or casual dinner party. You can mix up your perfect soup recipe for bowl one and try something completely different for bowl two. I served this for a girls night a few weeks ago and it was a total hit. The best part is the soup can be made the day before and reheated on the stove before company arrives. Serve the soup and platter of toppings along with a big side salad and a loaf of crusty bread.
Butternut Squash Soup with Toppings Bar, recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen, serves 8
I personally don’t think butter and a little cream is bad for you (especially when being mixed in to a large pot of soup like this), but if you want a lighter option you could easily use a few tablespoons of olive oil instead of butter and light coconut milk instead of cream.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter (or a few tablespoons of olive oil)
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
8 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 cup whipping cream (or light coconut milk)
Slices Green Apple
Ground Chicken Sausage
Parmesan Cheese (could be great with a number of different cheeses)
Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)
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