Since I have lost all my teeth, the thing that I am constantly missing in my diet is vegetable nutrition. Veggies tend to be hard to cook in a way that they are tender enough to be gumable but not so dead that you have a veggie paste. So, I have started making lots of pureed vegetable soups to get my veggies.
Here is one of my favorite veggie soups. This butternut squash soup has onions, carrots and butternut squash so it’s an excellent source of veggies. I found this soup recipe on FoodNetwork.com, and then altered it to fit my needs and allergies. I removed the cream and substituted vegetable broth for the chicken stock. So here is my version of this recipe:
2 T butter/margarine
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 cups vegetable stock
¼ cup chopped fresh sage leaves (or a couple teaspoons of dried crushed sage)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Optional: ½ cup dry orzo or other small pasta
In a large soup pot (or I use my enameled dutch oven) combine the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the onion and carrot and let them sauté (I usually add a little salt here to help the onions sweat out and soften). Once the onions are soft and translucent add the garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Add in the cubed butternut squash along with the vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the sage. Boil the mixture, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and puree the soup. If you have an immersion blender you can do this step right in the pot. If you don’t have a stick blender (immersion blender) you can always use your normal blender in a couple of batches, just keep a towel over the blender top in case the hot liquid splatters. Return the pureed mixture to the pot over low heat to re-heat the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is where you would also add the pasta if you want, and allow it to cook for another 15 or so minutes until the pasta is tender. I like the way the pasta gives the soup some extra body (and some extra calories). Serve the soup in bowls with a little chopped parsley on the top. Shredded parmesan cheese can be passed at the table if desired.
This is a great vegetarian soup, or it can be vegan if you simply omit the butter or margarine and just use olive oil. We serve this soup with good store bought Italian bread that has been topped with some olive oil, garlic powder and chopped parsley then heated in the oven. I heat my pieces only to get them warm, and allow the rest of the bread to crisp up for my husband who likes the crispy, crusty bread. Enjoy!