Before I start on this easy recipe for chicken butternut soup, I’ll just admit right here and now that I know that butternut squash can be intimidating. More than once I’ve regretfully pushed my cart past the pile of butternuts in the supermarket (okay, the Southern husband was pushing the cart, but the butternut abandonment was all mine. I own that.) because it just looked so dang hard to handle. And more on that later, because there are various ways butternut squash Can Be Conquered. But more importantly were all those days that I was missing out on this thick, hearty soup that is full of tender chicken and spinach and roasted carrots and lots and lots of butternut. It’s one of the most good and good for you soups I know, and I’m here to tell you that you need to brake at the butternut just to be able to cook up this soup. Let’s make it!
First, the butternut conquering. As always, the wonderful Elise at Simply Recipes came to my rescue with her totally reliable post on how to peel and cut that pesky butternut squash –click here for the great step by step directions. When I am feeling frisky, I go on over to that post with my butternut squash in one hand and my best chef’s knife in my other, and get down to it. Or (and there is no shame in this, people) you can now pretty reliably find already peeled and cut up butternut in your supermarket’s produce aisle. Yes, it costs more, but on those days when you need warm and wonderful chicken soup, but you feel like this…
…you know, too sleepy to decide whether to get off the sofa or stay on it…already peeled and chopped butternut is worth it. Because then you are that much closer to one of the best comfort foods I know. It’s perfect for those days when it is bitter cold on the outside, and things aren’t looking cheery on the inside. For example, when you are a life-long Mets fan, and someone in your house decides it’s time to hang up all their Yankee memorabilia right in front of you. You know that feeling.
On days like that when nothing is going right, it’s important to break out the comfort food.
Yes, that’s a good start…but for an actual comfort food supper, let’s get back to the butternut. Roast it up with some carrots and sweet onion until it is nice and tender. Pop the roasted veggies in a blender with some warm chicken broth and puree everything until it is nice and smooth. Now pour everything into a pot, add some shredded chicken and some baby spinach, and simmer it up until the spinach is wilted and everything is piping hot. Depending on how thick you like your soup, you can add a little more chicken broth as you go. Some salt and pepper and and there you have it!
Warm and wonderful and good and good for you. I like to make a double batch of this soup, because there’s nothing better than peeking into the fridge and realizing that you have chicken butternut squash in there for lunch. Hurray for butternut!
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 sweet onion, peeled and quartered
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chicken broth (I like the Imagine variety)
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works great if you don't have leftovers)
- 4 cups baby spinach
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Toss the squash, carrots and onion with olive oil. Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes.
- Add the veggies to a blender along with the chicken broth. Puree until smooth (you can do this in batches if you need to.
- Pour the puree into a large saucepan. Add the chicken and spinach and simmer until the spinach is wilted. You can add more chicken broth to thin out the soup if you like.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve!