Oh, man - I've survived the great storm and flood of 2015 here in Austin! Not everyone was as fortunate as us. We had a 6+ hour power outage, multiple trees blown over, and several fences that were ripped apart by 70 mph straight-line winds here in my immediate neighborhood. At one point many places were evacuated to ground level central rooms, and I was ready to jump into the closet under my stairs with my grandmother and daughter at a seconds notice when we were under a tornado warning. Scary stuff!
Our wonderful lake is thriving off all the recent rain, which is one great thing that has come out of all this crazy weather here lately; going up from 37% full to 63% full!
Of course, as I was watching the weather on the news during the most recent storm, I was taking my mind off things as best I could by cooking. What goes better with a stormy day than a nice warm bowl of soup?
Almost a year ago I made this really amazing, Butternut Squash & Apple Soup and ever since then I've been trying to think of another more spring/summer friendly to way to make the soup. I happened to get a nice little butternut squash and some nice carrots in my local organic produce box, which naturally got my wheels spinning.
ince the squash was more on the small side, I decided to use some frozen cauliflower that I had leftover to 'beef up' what was lacking with the squash.
I'm always amazed with cauliflower and how something with such a grainy texture can blend down perfectly into a smooth and decadent creamy texture, which was exactly what I was looking for with this soup.
The Skinny Kale & Carrot Top Pesto that I made earlier in the day was the perfect topper for this soup, but it's not entirely needed since this soup definitely can stand alone with it's flavors.
This soup will both freeze and reheat well. So, don't be shy with making it!
Skinny Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup
Servings: 4 • Size: About 1 1/2 Cup • Calories: 121.9 • Fat: 3.9 g • Carb: 17 g • Fiber: 5.9 g • Protein: 6.2 g • Sugar: 4.4 g • Sodium: 337.8 mg
1 Small Butternut Squash (Maybe 3/4-1 lb.)
2 Tsp. Light Butter
3 Slices Reduced Sodium Center Cut Bacon, Chopped
2 C. Cauliflower Florettes (Mine were frozen.)
2 Medium Carrots, Sliced
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 1/2 C. Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 1/2 C. Water
1 Tsp. Seasoning (I used a jew mallow and oregano blend.)
1/4 C. Fat Free Milk
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil; set aside.
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
I like to rinse mine, season with salt and pepper and bake for a soup topping, but you can discard or use them for something else if you want.
Top each half of the squash with 1 tsp light butter and place in the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes or until the 'meat' is fork tender.
Remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool lightly before scooping out the soft flesh.
Discard the skin and set the squash aside.
Cook the chopped bacon in a large stock pot until crisp and heated through.
Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon grease in the bottom of the pan.
Add in the cauliflower, carrots, onion, and garlic.
Cook the veggies down for a few minutes until nice and tender.
If they start to stick or dry out, just add some chicken stock to the pot and keep going.
Once the veggies are cooked through, add in the chicken broth, water and seasoning.
Bring the soup to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Turn the heat off, add in the milk and puree until smooth and creamy by using a submersion blender or regular blender with the vent cap removed.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the soup evenly among bowls, top with bacon and serve right away.
I topped mine with a Skinny Kale & Carrot Top Pesto, baked squash seeds and some chopped chives.