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A big part of this blog is encouraging you, my reader, to sample new foods and recipes. If winter squash is not something you include on menus – let alone consider at the store – give is another try this season.

See a video of how this brightly colored soup is made step-by-step, as well as below.

And happy late Thanksgiving from UI Extension!

Butternut Squash Soup (serves 4)

This cozy side-dish soup packs lots of nutrient-rich vegetables and will warm you up on a cold day.

1 Tbsp butter
3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
2 cups small diced carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
1 medium onion, small diced
3 1/2 cups fat-free reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup half-and-half or low-fat milk
Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

1. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter and add squash, carrots, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 25 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.
3. Place one-third of the squash mixture and one-third of the liquid in a food processor or blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Move contents to a large bowl or measuring cup to hold. Repeat with the remaining squash mixture.
4. Return all of squash mixture back to saucepan and back to stovetop. Add pepper, nutmeg, and half-and-half.
5. Heat through, stirring frequently. (One soup begin to steam, it is ready to eat. Do not boil soup or half-and-half may curdle.)
6. If desired, garnish each serving with pumpkin seeds.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 140 calories, 5g fat, 520mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 3g protein