Butternut squash has to be one of the most versatile vegetables on the planet. It’s great as a main dish, side or even dessert. But one of my favorite ways to enjoy this delicious vegetable is in a hardy soup. Juniper is now old enough to eat winter squash, so I recently made a batch of soup for us and a smaller portion for her.

Vegetable scraps from both recipes ready for the compost pile

The beauty of these two recipes is that they can be made at the same time, using almost the same ingredients. I love the idea that she is eating what we eat, so her palate is becoming accustomed early to our style of eating. Growing up, we always ate what our parents were eating and I think that helped prevent us from becoming picky eaters.

Butternut Squash Soup (Baby Version) – adapted from Cooking for Baby, by Lisa Barnes

  • 1 T. oil
  • 1 c. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 1/3-1/4 of a medium squash)
  • 1 c. boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 c. apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add squash, potatoes and apples and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about thirty minutes.
  3. Mash to desired consistency. Cool to room temperature and serve.

My low-tech hand blender

Baby Juniper only has one tiny tooth, so I mashed her soup up to a rough puree using an old-fashioned hand mixer. The soup freezes well. Portion the cooled soup into ice cube trays or use something fancier to freeze in smaller increments. Once frozen, toss the soup cubes into a ziplock for easier freezer storage. We defrost one cube at a time, as needed. She loved the soup!

 

Happy soup-eating customer

 

Butternut Squash Soup (Big People Version) – adapted from Epicurious

  • 2 T. butter or bacon grease
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 c. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped (about 2/3-3/4 of a medium squash)
  • 2 c. boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 c. apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 c. water
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat bacon grease over low-medium heat. Add celery, carrot and onion and cook for 10 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for about twenty minutes.
  3. Mash to desired consistency. Serve warm.

Big People soup version includes onions, celery, carrots and cinnamon

Every time we cook bacon, we save the rendered bacon grease in a little jar. This might sound too indulgent to some folks, but I prefer using it in place of olive oil or butter when I can. It adds a quick depth of flavor to our cooking and reuses something that would otherwise get thrown in the trash. Plus it’s sourced locally, as opposed to our olive oil coming from hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away.

Finished soup!

Baby Juniper’s recipe made four cups of soup, most of which was then frozen in half cup increments. The big people version made enough for 4-6 hearty servings. We all enjoyed this as a main course dinner, along with some crusty bread for the big people. The apples gave the soup a gentle sweetness and the potatoes helped the heartiness factor. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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