If you’ve been following my Instagram stories you’ve probably seen versions of this soup in my posts. Soup is one of my comfort foods, and the beautiful bright color of this winter squash and root vegetable soup is uplifting—something I know I’ve been needing a lot of help with lately amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, where we’ve all been shut inside and practicing social distancing to help flatten the curve.
This is a soup I’d enjoy any time of year, but it’s especially handy for these times where we may be relying more on canned foods and fresh produce that lasts a longer time, like root vegetables. While you can skip the parsnips in this recipe, I like to add them to give the soup a little more body and a slightly sweeter flavor without adding any extra sugar. I love how easy it is to make—I can’t tell you how many times I made a big mess in the kitchen or burned myself trying to blend hot soup. This just bypsases all that madness and lets you take a really hands-off approach. The less stress the better, right now, right?
Aside from being delicious and comforting, this soup is also a nutrient-rich way to brighten your day.You’ll get lots of vitamins A and C, plus potassium and fiber. It also happens to be totally vegan. My favorite way to enjoy this lately is with some pea protein powder stirred in and topped with crispy chickpeas or hemp hearts and, if I have some, mushroom bacon.
Easy Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup
1 small butternut squash *
1 tablespoon of olive oil, divided
2-3 parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Prick the squash with a fork in a few spots and place it on a baking sheet. Roast for about 40-60 minutes, until squash is soft to the touch. Set aside.
Meanwhile, toss the parsnip chunks with half a tablespoon of olive oil and spread on another baking sheet. Roast about 20-30 minutes or until parsnips are soft and beginning to caramelize. Shake the baking sheet a few times to prevent sticking.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, cut open, remove the seeds, and then scoop the flesh into a blender.
Add the roasted parsnips to the blender.
Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan and add the minced garlic. Saute about one minute or until fragrant and remove from heat.
Add the cooked garlic to the blender.
Add broth, starting with just one cup, and blend until smooth, pausing a few times to add more liquid as desired and scrape down the sides.
To serve, reheat
*If you can’t get your hands on a fresh squash, you can use canned butternut squash or pumpkin puree. You can also swap jarred minced garlic for the fresh.