Butternut squash soup with quinoa is ideal for a light dinner. This soup is vegetarian but if you prefer add cooked shrimp on top when ready to serve. Butternut squash is a great source of many vitamins, including vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A helps eyes, skin, teeth, bones, and other tissues in the body and it protects you from certain infections by helping your immune system (1). It also helps the retina of your eyes adapt to low light, which means you can see at night. I recommend this soup for pregnant and lactating women.
I still have leftover butternut squash from my garden, so this is a great way to use some of it. You can bake it whole or cut in half and place in a baking dish. Drizzle some olive oil and sea salt and bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes or until tender.
The other way to bake it is to peel the squash, then cut into cubes and place in the baking dish. This process is easier if you have a great knife.
The only difficult part of making this soup is making sure I have enough because when I take it out of the oven, my children start eating it right away! Once cooked and soft, cook in a saucepan with quinoa and the rest of the ingredients for about 20 minutes. Later, blend the soup to make it creamy in a food processor or blender. Enjoy and let me know if you like it.
A few ideas for toppings include croutons, chopped cilantro, dices of avocado or cooked shrimp.
Nutrition information for 1 cup: 150 calories, 7 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 10mg cholesterol, 300mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, 5g dietary fiber, 3g protein, 310% daily value vitamin A, 40% daily value vitamin C, 8% daily value calcium, 6% daily value iron.
(1) Source: Book: Nutrition at your fingertips by Elisa Zied.
- 3-4 cups butternut squash peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsbp butter
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 jalapeño chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3-4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup quinoa uncooked
- 1 tbsp cilantro leaves chopped
- Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel the butternut squash and cut it lengthwise in half and remove seeds. Cut into cubes, place in a baking dish, drizzle olive oil, and salt. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
Another way to cut the butternut squash is to cut in half, drizzle olive oil and salt. Place in a baking dish. When you remove from the oven, let it cool a little to be able to touch and scrape the vegetable with a spoon or peel with a knife.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, fry the onions, then garlic and last the jalapeños. Add the spices and season with salt.
Then add the butternut squash, quinoa (dry), and cilantro and stir. Add the water or broth and bring to boil for 1-2 minutes, then lower the heat to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
The liquid will be reduced a bit. Last step is to transfer the squash to a food processor or blender and puree in batches. If the soup starts to thicken, add warm water or broth. Makes ~6 cups.
Tip: A few ideas for toppings include croutons, chopped cilantro, dices of avocado or cooked shrimp.