Butternut Squash Soup

Almost every year I land a few butternut squash from my friends.  I like to bake them and then puree for soup.  This is a low fat soup that is delicious with or without the added brown rice and shredded chicken.

Ingredients:

2 to 3 Cups (approx) – pureed butternut squash

1 32 Ounce Carton – low sodium chicken broth

Sliced Carrots – I used two

Minced Celery – I used 1 small stalk

Onion and Garlic – 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced and about 1/4 cup minced onion

Hot Peppers, finely chopped (optional and to taste) – remember, we like it hot!  That’s why I do the Big Pepper Freeze – I use them all year long.

Optional – 2 Cups (approx) – cooked brown rice (a great way to use up leftover rice)

Optional – 1 to 2 Cups – cooked, shredded chicken – this is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken, or if you have Shredded Chicken (Shortcut Cooking) on hand.

Directions:

Squash looks intimidating, but it’s really pretty easy once you know a few tricks.  First, wash and dry the outside.  Then carefully slice off a small piece from the side so it will lay flat on your cutting board.

Squash is hard to cut through and this will keep it from rolling on your cutting board.  Then cut off the top and bottom.  Finally, slice in two, lengthwise.  Scoop the seeds out and place the squash, pulp side up, in a baking pan.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for an hour (approx) or until the  squash is tender.

Scoop the roasted squash out of the shell.  (If you are roasting a lot of squash, you can freeze at this point for future use).

Puree the squash (I use an immersion blender, but you can also do in a food processor).

Add the carrots, celery, garlic, onion and chicken broth to the pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10  minutes or so.  Add the pureed squash and cook another 10 minutes or so.  Add the chicken and rice and cook another 10 minutes or so, just until flavors have blended and carrots are tender.

I like to serve with shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top.

Note:  If you don’t have cooked rice and you still want to add rice to this soup, use about 1/3 cup raw brown rice and give it a head start cooking in the soup pot with about 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.  Then add the chicken broth, carrots, celery and seasonings and continue as above.

Also, if you want a creamier soup, you can stir in some hot lowfat or fat free condensed milk right before serving.  Heat through in the soup pot until the soup is hot and steaming, but not boiling, then serve.


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