My first taste of butternut squash soup was at a marche restaurant in Toronto. I was so blown away by its creaminess and flavour I worked hard to recreate it. I think I’ve come close and on top of that it is completely healthy. Theirs probably had cream in it but I have found that this recipe just doesn’t need it. It is tasty and creamy all on its own. Pair this with some fresh baked bread and you really have a heavenly meal. It’s a favourite of mine really, especially when it is cold and rainy. Which happens often out here!
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 leeks, white part only, chopped
- 2 lbs butternut squash, cubed
- 1 bartlett pear, cored and chopped
- 6 cup water or chicken stock
- 2 purple basil leaves, chopped finely
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, and leeks. Saute until carmelization occurs.
- Add the squash, pear, stock or water, basil and pie spice. Season with some salt and pepper. Allow to simmer until the squash and pear are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Puree the soup using a hand blender or in batches in a regular blender until it is smooth.
- Reheat the soup and serve.
Makes 8 large portions. Each portion (about 2 cups) is 72 calories, .8 gram fat, 4.4 grams fibre, 17.2 grams carbs, 1.3 grams protein. Calculated if water is used instead of stock. If you need a bit of extra creaminess a dollop of fat free sour cream is excellent in this. I don’t usually do that, made for a pretty picture though!
I kept hearing about doing this, I was skeptical, but I had to give it a try…they were even on sale. It’s that whole idea of using spaghetti squash instead of noodles. Sure, I’ve seen rave reviews for doing this…but somehow to me they seemed like those diet people who go on and on about how they don’t crave fatty foods anymore…you know those sanctimonious folks, we’ve all heard them. Come on, we all want a little something naughty once and awhile…those are part of the things that make life worth living. It’s just about watching how much of those naughty things you indulge in…not denying yourself totally. ANYWAYS. I’ve heard things and now I’ve put them to the test. Overall, I did indeed find it tasty. They weren’t the soft noodles I tend to go for, but the squash flavouring actually went well with the tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. The fact that the squash is so low calorie and fat compared to the noodles also allowed me to pile on the cheese and sauce which I have to admit made me feel indulgent. It was definitely a filling meal and I finished it with gusto. It won’t replace noodles in my life but its definitely an option when I don’t have a lot of calories or fat left to spend but need a filling meal with a ton of veggie/fruit servings in it.
- 1 small or medium spaghetti squash
- 1/2 cup sauce of choice ( I use ragu)
- 4 tbl paremsan cheese
- Cut the squash in half. Scoop out the seeds.
- Place the two halves face down on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350F. To check if its done give it a poke with a knife. If the knife pierces the skin easily then it is definitely time.
- Allow the squash to cool a bit, just so you can handle it safely. Using a fork rake the flesh inside…sounds gruesome doesn’t it. Remove the “noodles” and place in your serving bowl.
- Top with the sauce of your choice (heated) and cheese.
So easy. I have a small one and it filled that bowl in the picture….and yes, I ate it all. My little piggy “pasta” party only cost me 255 calories, 9.4 grams of fat, and 7 grams of fibre. Not bad considering having the same amount with noodles would cost me double the calories, less fibre, and not as many veggie servings. As healthy meals go, definitely a tasty one I would do again.