As I've mentioned a couple of times already this year, my husband and I are trying to eat healthier. It's going well so far, and we've discovered lots of new recipes we love that are very vegetable-centric. We aren't giving up meat, but we are trying to focus on calories and balance. We've been at it for over two months and haven't given up, so we must be doing something right.
Part of our success has been because I'm actually planning meals before I shop. Not only does it keep us on the straight and narrow, but we have a lot less produce waste because I know what I'm going to do with it when I get home. My old plan of "hey, I'm going to buy this bag of spinach because we should eat more veggies!" often lead to a weekly produce drawer purge.
Recently I found myself with some broccoli left over from a meal, because Costco, and I wanted to make sure we used it. I knew I'd seen butternut squash and broccoli soup on the shelf at the grocery store, so I took the opportunity to come up with a recipe of my own. I was worried it wouldn't be edible, but I served it to the test subjects known as my husband, daughter and son-in-law. There wasn't a drop left, and my daughter has been asking me for the recipe ever since.
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To make this soup you'll need:
- 4 cups diced butternut squash (1 medium)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped celery (reserve the celery leaves)
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1—2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups broccoli
- 1 can (13.5 oz) lite coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel, seed and dice the squash into about 1” cubes. Spread on a greased baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 40—60 minutes (it can vary with the size of your pieces), stirring midway through, until squash is soft and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, sauté garlic, celery and onion in the oil until softened. The reason I sliced the onions rather than chopping is because the first time I made this it was difficult to get all the bits of onion out of the pan and into the blender. The slices were much easier to work with.
Add curry paste. Pour in the broth. Add the broccoli. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until broccoli is tender.
Add squash. Blend mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.
Stir in coconut milk and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper and heat through.
Now, you could stop here, and the soup is delicious, but crisp up a piece of turkey or pork bacon, crumble it over the top, then chop a couple of celery leaves and toss those on. Yum.
This recipe makes about 9 cups of soup. If you divide that into 1 1/2 cup servings, you'll have six of those at just 160 calories each. Add the piece of turkey bacon, and that adds about 30 calories. That leaves room for a side, and we love these Easy Garlic Knots from Skinnytaste. I left off the butter and cheese and added this everything bagel seasoning instead.
I don't know if it's all in my head, but to me this tastes a whole lot like broccoli cheese soup without a bit of cheese involved. I currently have some waiting in the freezer for another day, but I see no reason it won't come out the same way it went in. Unless my family finds it, then I'll never know.