Autumn Butternut Thyme Soup

Yesterday was the perfect fall Sunday in the city- it was sunny, but a bit chilly with that crisp autumn breeze. This means soup weather!

Even though butternut soup tends to be a classic, I had actually never had it up until last year... and I "cheated" by using canned pureed butternut (enter monkey covered eyes in shame emoji here). My physical therapist and fellow foodie deemed that blasphemous when I confessed that.

So, I was determined to make this baby from scratch. I got my hands on a beautiful butternut at the farmers market last week- by the way, when you are choosing squash, you want to pick one blemish-free as possible and one that is heavy for its size.

As I was talking with with one of the vendors, she recommended using thyme to make the soup. I decided to give that a go and I'm really glad I did. Last year, I think I overloaded my soup with nutmeg and it kind of overpowered the dish. 

The garlic and thyme were just flavorful enough without overtaking the creamy, hearty butternut taste. I kept this soup very healthy, so while it feels like a hearty indulgence, its creaminess comes from the butternut and greek yogurt instead of using cream- plus the yogurt bumps up the protein content. This is also THE perfect soup to cozy up to with an oversized sweater, leggings, and Gilmore Girls back on Netflix. 

For those of you that might be intimidated by making this soup, it is rather simple. It takes a decent amount of time primarily for that squash to roast, but most of the time is passive, so you can multitask. I did my laundry while cooking this soup!

 Mother Nature's colors are the best.

Mother Nature's colors are the best.

Autumn Butternut Thyme Soup

*serves 5-6
Gluten-free + Dairy-free/Vegan Optional

Ingredients

1 large Butternut Squash
1 Yellow Onion (I used 4 small spring onions), diced
6 cloves of fresh Garlic, peeled
2 tbsp + 1 tsp dried Thyme (you can use fresh!)
EVOO
4 cups of Chicken Stock (use veggie if vegan)
3/4 cup Greek Yogurt (sub 1/3 cup of soaked cashews OR 1/2 cup coconut cream if vegan or dairy-free)
S&P to taste

Special tools needed:
Immersion blender OR high speed blender

 

Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Spray foil with EVOO spray to evenly coat.

2. Carefully cut the butternut squash in half, lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp (set seeds aside if you want to roast them). 

3. Place 3 garlic cloves and 1 tbsp of thyme in each of the squash's cavities. Lightly coat squash with EVOO and sprinkle a little S&P. Gently flip squash over so it is cut-side down on the aluminum foil lined baking tray, being careful to not spill the garlic and thyme out. 

4. Place baking tray in the oven, and bake for 50-60 minutes until tender. If you're able to stick a fork in it with ease, it is finished. (If you want to roast the seeds, stick them in the oven alongside the squash for the last 15 minutes of baking- sprinkle a little S&P on them)

5. While the squash is baking, place diced onions and about a tablespoon of EVOO in a large pot on medium-high heat. Cook the onions until tender and they start to brown. Turn off the heat.

6. Remove baking tray from the oven and let squash cool for a few minutes. Scoop out the garlic cloves and reserve, discard the thyme. Using a spoon, gently scoop out the squash flesh without breaking the skin.

7. Add scooped squash and garlic into the pot with the onions, and turn heat up to medium-high. Stir contents and cook for about 5 minutes until squash caramelizes a bit. Pour in the chicken stock and stir well. Cook broth on a simmer for 10 minutes. 

8. If using immersion blender: turn off heat and blend soup until completely pureed and smooth. Add in greek yogurt and blend again until smooth. 
If using a regular blender: wait until broth is cooled to lukewarm. Add greek yogurt, and pour into blender and blend until pureed and smooth. 

9. Divide soup into bowls, sprinkle with remaining thyme and (optional) roasted seeds to garnish, and serve!