Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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This exotic-tasting soup combines the sweetness of winter squash with the earthiness of ground cumin - and if you dare, a pinch of cayenne pepper to add just the right amount of heat to the back of your palate, making this a favorite of the season.

1 large butternut squash
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 medium onion, diced
4 cups prepared vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup non-dairy creamer
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the flesh side down on a baking sheet, and roast uncovered until the squash is soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, cumin, and cayenne pepper (if using), and set aside.

Scrape the meat of the squash away from the skin and add it to a blender or food processor. Next, add the broth mixture and non-dairy creamer, blending at low speed until smooth. Do this in batches if necessary.

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Remove from heat and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Note: If you have a Hand Blender, add the meat of the squash and the creamer directly to the pan, and blend until smooth.

Serve with crusty bread, crackers, or homemade croutons.

Refrigerate any leftovers.