Saturday, November 28, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, two ways


Before James was born, I thought that a baby would have zero impact on our food budget. After all, babies are so tiny! They couldn't possibly eat more than a few tablespoons of food at a time.. right? Well, maybe some babies don't eat much, but my baby has an appetite the size of Manhattan. I cannot fill that kid up! I feel like I spend most of my time roasting, steaming, and sauteing food for that kid, because, number #2945 of things-they-don't-tell-you-before-you-have-a-baby, BABIES EAT A LOT. You think that a person who only weighs 20 lbs would eat less than his parents, but sometimes I think he eats more than the both of us put together.

If you are new here, I can't eat gluten (wheat protein), and James can't eat casein (milk protein) or soy, and James isn't old enough to eat eggs or meat yet, which means, essentially... I have a voracious infant vegan on my hands. Who is also gluten-free and soy-free. Oh my. (I would like to point out that we eat this way for legitimate medical reasons, not as an affectation or because it happens to be the fad right now. Why people think diet restrictions are hip or sophisticated is beyond me. After three years of eating gluten free, I would kill for a chocolate croissant or a slice of sourdough bread that wouldn't, you know, kill me.)


In the beginning, I had no idea what to feed him, and so for the first couple of weeks we ate quite a lot of bananas, rice noodles, apple sauce and steamed carrots (and oh, how that child needed more fiber in his diet. Whoops! Sorry baby.) But after a while I started to get my groove on and got smart to some excellent vegan alternatives: coconut oil for butter, almond milk for cow's milk, coconut milk for cream. After a while, it actually got a little fun, and to be honest, this whole "feed a vegan baby" has turned out to be quite a good thing for all of us. We are cooking lighter and fresher, and it has forced me given me the opportunity to try all kinds of new vegetables. Scary vegetables. Vegetables I have been putting off trying for about 20 years. Things Like kale (yummy), brussel sprouts (so fun!), beets (stains everything pink), and squash (FAAAB!). I can't believe that until now I have never even tried butternut squash. If you like pumpkin flavored anything, you'll like butternut squash. It's got the same rich buttery taste and smooth texture, but is pumpkin's sweeter, lighter cousin. It's great roasted, steamed, mashed, sauteed, slathered in butter, sprinkled with kosher salt etc. etc. I love it and we have been eating one or two a week all month.

The following recipe can be made two ways: soup for mama, and soup for baby. Vegan, and not vegan. Mama's way includes butter and half & half, baby's vegan way includes coconut oil and coconut milk. Both ways are delicious!


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup • Vegan and Not-Vegan

Butternut Squash is in season right now and tastes its best this time of year. Roasting it is my favorite way of eating it; it really brings out the flavor and adds in all these delicious caramel notes. Look for fruits that are very firm with smooth waxy skin, and are heavy for their size. Those ones taste the best!

1 medium butternut squash
1 medium brown onion, diced
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh thyme, minced (2-3 tablespoons)
4 cups stock (vegetable, beef, or chicken)
2-3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup half & half or coconut milk
kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise, and roast, cut side down, on a baking sheet, until skin is browned and flesh is soft when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop out seeds.

Scoop and scrape the flesh from the skin, and reserve in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat butter (or coconut oil) in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute until softened and beginning to brown.

Add stock, scraping up any browned bits that cling to the pan. Add squash, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you stir. Bring to a boil.

Lightly puree soup in a food processor to taste - some people like it more chunky, some like it less. Just don't over-puree it so that it has no texture at all! Return soup to pot, add 1/2 & 1/2 or coconut milk, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Depending on the thickness of the soup, you can add more stock (or some water) to thin it our, or if it is too thin simmer it down to the desired consistency. Adjust seasonings, serve, and enjoy!


  1. My son is a little younger than James & I am so excited to try this recipe for him (& for us!) If/when you have other baby food recipes that are yummy enough for us grownups too, will you please tag them so I'm sure not to miss any?
    Thank you for all the gluten free deliciousness!
    Take care!

  2. YUM! I have been wondering what to do with the butternut squash I bought the other day!

  3. I literally made tonight and it is very good. I added a pinch of sugar (because I like the soup with that little sweetness) and it came out perfect. I recommend starting the roasting about an hour in advance - you'll want the squash very tender before trying to scoop it out.

  4. Just tried it. Hmmmm!!!! Lovely

  5. Just made this it was delicious! I used 1% milk and a little balsamic! Even my husband wanted more!!

  6. this is great recipe !! thank you