Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Creamy Butternut Squash & Chicken Soup Recipe


We still have a few large butternut squashes in our "cellar" and it was about time I use them up. You all know how I feel about butternut squash soup (delicious, but textually disturbing), but I wanted to attempt a new version of the creamy squash soup. By adding in chicken, celery, onions, garlic and loads of spicy spices I created a butternut squash soup that I can really get behind. I hope you and your family love this healthy, hearty, creamy soup. 


Creamy Butternut Squash & Chicken Soup Recipe
Serves 4-6

1 medium butternut squash, roasted 
drizzle of canola oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2-1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg 
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt 
2 cups chicken broth or bouillon
2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half, lengthwise and remove the seeds. (You can reserve the seeds and roast them if desired. This makes a great soup garnish.) Place flesh-side down on a cookie sheet. Fill the cookie sheet with 1/4 inch of water. Bake 45 minutes to an hour, until tender all the way through when pierced with a fork. Remove from baking sheet to cool. 

While squash is cooling, drizzle a 5 or 6 quart pot with canola oil and heat to medium. Add in chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes without stirring. Then stir the chicken and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add in celery, onions, garlic and seasonings. Stir. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softening and fragrant. 

Once squash is cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop out the soft flesh (leaving the skin behind) and transfer to a food processor. Process in batches until smooth. 

Add approximately 2-3 cups pureed squash to the pot with the chicken. Stir to combine. Pour in chicken broth. Add in water, one cup at a time until preferred consistency is reached, adding more than 2 cups if desired.  

Bring soup to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes (to an hour). Serve hot with chili sauce (Sriracha) and oyster crackers or roasted butternut squash seeds. 

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