I am forever chasing the perfect bowl of soup.
A soup that is just creamy enough (without containing dairy-based creams), is dotted with tender, seasonal veggies (that aren’t greasy), and is finished with fresh, aromatic herbs (and isn’t over salted). Nothing to it, right?!
A few weeks ago, while having dinner with friends at California Pizza Kitchen, I tried the new Farmers Market soup on the menu and was enamored. It had all of the creaminess, all of the tender veggies and was finished with fresh herbs and herb-infused olive oil. So delicious!
Well then I discovered that the soup contained dairy-based cream and I was less impressed. The next week I came up with this soup recipe, and it very well may be the perfect cup of soup! To get around using dairy-based creams I roasted and pureed butternut squash, which gives the soup a deep creamy base.
If you have some herb-infused olive oil then drizzle just a touch over the top of each bowl of soup and sprinkle with fresh minced herbs. Enjoy!
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- Dash of black pepper
- 32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
- Juice from one orange
- 3 Tablespoons basil infused olive oil *optional garnish
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 celery stalks, sliced
- 2 zucchini, sliced into half moons
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
- sea salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a roasting pan, toss the cubed butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes.
- In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the onion until browned. Add the garlic, salt, sage and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, cooked butternut squash and orange juice. Heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth (is using a regular blender, allow soup to cool first.)
- In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion cook for 3 minutes. Add the parsnips, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the zucchini, bell pepper and thyme and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the Butternut Squash Cream and cover, simmering for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and serve warm. Garnish each bowl with a drizzle of herb-infused olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Enjoy!