Recipe Recommendation - Golden Winter Soup!

A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday, the weather was brisk and I was extremely tired from the previous week, so I was in the mood for a warm, comforting meal.  I was in the mood for potato soup, but when I was looking for a new recipe to try, a recipe named “Golden Winter Soup” caught my eye!

Butternut squash has an odd shape, a cream-colored outer shell, and a highly nutritious, pumpkin-like center.  Butternut squash is considered a starchy vegetable because 90% of its total calories are derived from the carbohydrate family.  One serving of butternut squash provides the body with 298% of your daily recommended value of vitamin A, 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, and 3 grams (11%) of fiber in every serving.  The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components of butternut squash put it in the spotlight for cancer prevention & treatment.

Butternut squash also provides the body with certain minerals.  One serving contains 14% of daily recommended value of manganese, a mineral that is important in metabolizing proteins and fat.  Other minerals that are present include, potassium, which supports muscle action, and magnesium which plays a role in cell formation.

Let the cooking process began:

After cubing the butternut squash, I peeled and cubed the russet potatoes and melted butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

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Once butter was melted I added the butternut squash, russet potatoes, salt, and pepper to the dutch over and sautéed for approximately 3 minutes.

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While the mixture was on the stove, I added 1 chopped leek and sautéed for another minute before stirring in 4 cups vegetable broth.  The recipe calls for chicken broth (which I had also purchased) so to be honest, using vegetable broth was by mistake! I just wasn't paying attention when I pulled the broth out of the cabinet! Once broth was added, it was brought to a boil and simmered for 20 minutes.

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The recipe instructs you to place half of the potato mixture in a blender.  To make the process easier, I removed the soup from the stove, and used my Hand-held Blender.  This drastically reduced the time and effort needed to pull of this soup.

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I submerged the blender in the dutch oven and puréed the soup until it had a smooth consistency.  The consistency is also a place in this recipe that you can make adjustments according to your preferences.  I like my soups to have a little texture to them so I left a few pieces in small chunks.

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And finally, I stir in 1 cup of half-and-half until mixed well. Cover to keep soup warm until served! I served this soup with a slice of Havarti cheese bread for ease, but you could also pair this soup with baked potato, salad, or half of a sandwich or panini!

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This recipe leaves room for you to be creative in how you serve it!   Great for a dinner party because it is easy to make and makes a large portion. Mike and I had a large bowl for a total of 3 meals and I still had to throw some of the soup out! But since we both loved the soup so much, we "filed" it in our favorite column to have again soon!

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Golden Winter Soup

Recipe by: Cooking Light

2 tablespoons butter 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds) 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium) 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 1 cup half-and-half 12 ounces baguette, cut into 16 slices 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese 3 tablespoons chopped chives Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Place half of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatter). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.