Creamy Autumn Soup

Who doesn’t love a hearty bowl of seasonal soup when the weather starts to get cold? You could always heat up a can of chicken noodle, but why do that when making a decadent squash soup is so easy and tastes so much better? We’ve created this recipe that tastes impressively similar to a certain bread company’s that you can make in large batches and freeze to eat any time you want! To reheat, simply toss the frozen soup chunks into your rice cooker with a little additional vegetable broth and cook on WHITE RICE until it’s back to the normal deliciously warm and thick self. So get your blankets ready, because after making this meal all you’ll want to do is curl up on the couch with a spoon and dig in.

2 large butternut squash
4 tbsp butter
allspice, to taste
cinnamon, to taste
nutmeg, to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1 1/3 cups sparkling cranberry apple cider (or regular apple juice if you can’t find sparkling)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp butter
2 oz low-fat cream cheese
2 tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
heavy cream, optional garnish
toasted pumpkin seeds, optional garnish

6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and wipe dry the squash, then cut the top 1 inch off. Slice down the middle from the root to stem end of each and scoop out the seeds. Place in a casserole dish  or on a baking sheet so the cut sides are facing up. Put 1 tbsp of butter on each half, broken into little bits to better cover the whole side. Season each side with salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice then bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until very soft when poked with a fork.

When the squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. After it has cooled, scoop out the insides and set aside in a bowl. This should be roughly 4 cups of squash. Set aside.

Turn on the rice cooker, put the oil inside and press the STEAM button, then close the lid. When it has switched to KEEP WARM, the oil has heated. Press the power button and then STEAM again and set to 30 minutes. Finally, add the onions and carrots. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and carrots have started to soften, about 6 minutes. Then, add the squash and dashes of each spice to the cooker, stirring to incorporate. Stir in the vegetable broth and apple cider.

Close the lid and allow the mixture to come up to a boil, then cook an additional 15 minutes. Turn off the cooker and scoop the mixture into a separate bowl. Add the pumpkin puree, butter, cream cheese and brown sugar. Puree with a stick hand blender or in a normal blender (in batches if necessary). Blend until very smooth.

Serve in bowls and garnished with heavy cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and additional cinnamon as desired.

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