Originally I planned to make this dairy-free butternut squash soup part of The RESET meal plan but if you've ever tried to cut up a butternut squash, you know it can be a pain in the you know what.
I didn't want to do that to you. So for the RESET I went with a different soup with easier veg to cut (you're welcome!). I still had the recipe though - and this is a good one! So I wanted you to have it anyway... besides, I figure you can always sub the squash for sweet potatoes if you don't want to mess with it. I'm gonna give some pointers down below to help you cut up those silly looking squashes though too. Read on...
Before I get to that though, let's talk blended soups and cleansing.
The Beauty of Blended Soups
I've talked about the benefits of souping here before and it's worth revisiting. Eating blended soups is a great way to cleanse and detox your system.
Vegetable-based blended soups like this dairy-free butternut squash soup pack a lot of nutrition into a bowl and because they're blended, a good chunk of the work your digestive system would have to do is already done for you.
That means less work for your body and more energy that can go toward other areas of maintenance like detoxification and healing.
Basically anything that lessens the burden on your digestion whether it's eating less; eating smaller, simpler meals; consuming more of your food in liquid or blended form like juices, smoothies, soups; and eating foods that your body loves (aka more fruits and vegetables) is going to help your body do it's natural detox thing.
What I like about soups for a cleanse/detox is they're easy on digestion and also easy to make sure you're getting in the right nutrition including healthy fats and protein that your body also needs to complete detoxification.
This part is really critical.
If you're not getting adequate protein, detoxification can come to a halt.
More on all this cleanse/detox stuff to come soon... I wasn't really planning to get into that here, but clearly I'm getting excited about it. I've been craving a cleanse for weeks now and I can't wait to tell you more about what I have planned for April.
OK, back to the butternut...
How to Cut Up a Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is one of those vegs I always buy optimistically and then it just sits in my pantry until I realize it's been there for months and I better do something with it before it goes to waste.
I figured out not to long ago the trick, though. Here's what I do.
First, I peel the squash whole. I start out holding the thick end and peel the skinny end of the squash all the way around while holding it over the trash so the peels go straight in the bin.
Then I flip the squash and do the other side. Sometimes the squash will be slippery and harder to hold onto. If so, I wrap the already peeled side with a clean dish towel or paper towel and that makes it easier to hold onto.
After I peel the other side, I rinse the squash and pat dry.
Then I place the squash on a cutting board and cut the ends off. Then, starting on the skinny side, slice into thick rounds (about 2 inches thick) until I get to the base. I stop just before the squash goes from skinny to thick and turn the base on it's side so the part I was just cutting is facing up.
I slice it in half to expose the innards of the squash - you know, where the goop and seeds are.
I scoop out the seeds and goop using a spoon. Note, you have to force the spoon a bit with a strong scrape to get the gunk out. Discard the insides and resume cutting the rest into thick slices.
Now you'll have a bunch of larger pieces of squash you can dice into whatever size you prefer. I usually cut each round in half and then half or quarter the halves. If that makes any sense at all.
I should really do a video of this like I did for the soup....
In the meantime, I hope this helps.
Let Us Know What You Think...
If you make this dairy-free butternut squash soup or if you attempt my cutting technique come back and tell us how it turned out, will you? We'd love to hear what you think!
Dairy-Free Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 6 cups)
- 1 apple, cored and roughly diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 leek, green tops removed, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 6 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- Put chopped vegetables and fruit in a slow cooker, add seasonings and then pour in broth. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
- Add coconut milk at the end after cooking is done and ready to blend.
- When done, turn off heat - it's time to blend. If you have an immersion blender you can blend the soup directly in the slow cooker pot. Or you can use a traditional blender* and work in batches to blend the soup to a creamy consistency.
- *If using a traditional blender, start by ladling some of the soup into the blender only to about the halfway point (be careful not to overfill). Place the lid and remove the blender cap. Then place a paper towel and then a kitchen towel over the lid to cover the hole (the paper towel will protect your towel from turmeric stains). This will let the steam out and prevent a dangerous hot soup blowout! When ready to blend, start at the lowest, slowest possible setting and gradually increase speed while maintaining control so the soup isn't splashing all the way up to the top.
- When blended, pour blended soup into whatever large bowl storage container you'll be using. Then start with the next batch, and so on until all of the soup is blended.If you want to keep it warm until later, return blended soup to slow cooker and set it to the keep warm setting.
- Store in fridge (will keep for 3-4 days) or in the freezer (up to 2-3 months).
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Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.