Dairy Free Butternut squash soup was new to me!
Butternut squash has got to be one of my favourite squashes, I love roasting it and having it in tacos, making mac and cheese sauce with it, but interestingly enough I never used it to make soup. Until one day, I had my butternut squash just sitting there waiting to be eaten and the thought came to me to try something different and make a soup out of it. I know, this is not a breakthrough concept by any means, but it was a good reminder for me to try mixing things up a bit more, plus I adore soup. I knew that I wanted to have a dairy free butternut squash soup that was Thai inspired, so coconut milk was a must along with cilantro and everything else that just kind of came to me as I was cooking, it’s so awesome when that happens!
Although this meal takes a while to cook in your slow cooker, there is very little prep time and while it is cooking you are free to be doing other things, that’s the best thing about a slow cooker!
Squash is total beauty food:
Winter squash are an excellent source of beta carotenes, vitamin C and manganese along with a good amount of fiber. Vitamin C is probably best known as the antioxidant vitamin which is completely true, but did you know that vitamin C is also required to produce collagen? Collagen as we know is a protein that gives your skin its elasticity (and this is why it is always mentioned when it comes to anti-aging creams in commercials!). As you age, collagen breaks down and wrinkles begin to form, by increasing the production of collagen you can help to counteract wrinkle formation. A great way to do this is to increase your vitamin C content. Other great sources of vitamin C include: papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, pineapple and of course oranges (though that is not the highest).
Further benefits of including squash:
Squash and their seeds also contain a great source of manganese which is important in bone production and formation. Manganese is an important trace mineral that is a required co-factor for an enzyme that is in turn necessary to make (wait for it) collagen! Dun, dun dun… so manganese and vitamin C are both super important for collagen production and both are found in squash!
So let’s review shall we? Squash is great for the skin due to the high vitamin C and manganese content because both are responsible for collagen production.
Squash = great skin
Now that you are convinced, I hope you enjoy this dairy free butternut squash soup as much as I do.
- 1 medium butternut squash (peeled, chopped into cubes)
- 1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
- 1 small to medium apple (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 1-2 tbsp. peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger (approx. 1 small knob of ginger)
- ¼ to ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 can coconut milk (full fat) with some of the cream removed from the top of the can (approx. 1-2 tbsp). This is optional, if you want to swirl it in at the end, otherwise just use the whole can.
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili flakes (add more or less depending on your preference).
- Juice from 1 lime (plus zest from the lime for garnish)
- A pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
- Seeds from the butternut squash (or use pumpkin seeds if you wish)
- Chili flakes (depending on your spice level)
- Roughly chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Coconut milk (cream from the top of the can- approx. 1-2 tbsp. is all you need)
- Zest from one lime
- Add the cubed butternut squash, apple, onion, ginger, turmeric, broth, coconut milk, cumin, chili flakes and lime juice along with salt and pepper to your crock-pot.
- Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-5 hours. Once it is done, blend in your blender (in batches if necessary) or using an immersion blender in a large pot.
- If using the seeds from your butternut squash, toast them on a pan over low heat for 10 minutes or so. I like to season them with a bit of EVOO, cayenne, salt and pepper. Or you can make them in your oven, at 325°F for 10-12 minutes.
- Top your soup with a bit of the coconut cream that you saved by using a sharp knife to swirl it all around. Top with fresh cilantro, butternut squash seeds, chili flakes, lime zest and salt and pepper.
- Note: you can adapt the cooking from a crock-pot to the oven, although I am not sure of the timing as I have only done it in a crock-pot. Basically once it’s cooked through and soft, you are good to blend it.
- Note that the cook time will vary depending on what you cook it on (high vs. low).