I can never pass up on the cut up organic butternut squash at Costco. It makes life and cooking so much easier, not to mention how delicious the roasted squash is! The soup recipe I am sharing with you, today, is the perfect blend of butternut squash and spicy chipotle chili. It is the kind of soup you would want to warm your chilled bones on a cold fall or winter day! I found this wonderful recipe by Marcela Valladolid on the Food Network. As usual, I made some minor changes in the ingredients and in the preparation to suit to my tastes and cooking style. I can’t wait to make it for my daughter, when she comes home from Michigan for a weekend visit later this month. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed with this simple and healthy soup!
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
- 2 pounds organic butternut squash or 1 medium squash
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 organic stalks celery, chopped
- 2 organic carrots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups organic chicken broth
- 1½ teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- ¼ teaspoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
- ½ cup organic plain nonfat yogurt
- Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- If using a whole butternut squash, cut it in half and use the grapeseed oil to grease the flesh sides of the squash. Place on a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 45 minutes, until very tender. If using cut up squash, toss with grapeseed oil in a large bowl. Place on a foil lined, rimmed baking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 30 minutes, until slightly brown and tender. Remove from oven and cool.
- Using a large nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; then season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 10 minute, then add the garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- If using a whole squash, scoop the flesh into blender. If using cut up squash, place pieces in the blender. Blend the squash and chipotle with some chicken stock, until very smooth. Transfer to a large pot.
- Place cooked onion, carrot, celery and garlic mixture in the blender with some chicken stock. Blend until smooth. Transfer to the large pot.
- Add remaining chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
- In a small bowl, mix together yogurt and chipotle. Add salt to taste.
- Spoon soup into individual bowls, top with “Chipotle Cream” and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately. 6 servings.
Quinoa is not only nutrient-rich, but is so easy to make. It is considered to be a “complete protein,” because of the amounts of amino acids, lysine and isoleucine, it contains. This salad has a wonderful smokey flavor from the chipotle, which also gives the dish some “heat.” In addition, you can taste the green and red onions and the cilantro! The quinoa recipe was adapted from Ken Oringer in Food and Wine, From a Chef’s Incredible Winter Picnic, published December 2009. I substituted the sherry vinegar with rice vinegar and reduced the amount of olive oil.
- 1 can (15 ounce) organic black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup organic quinoa, rinsed thoroughly and drained
- Sea salt
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 chipotle in adobo, minced
- ¼ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 green onions, thinly sliced using only the white and light green parts
- ½ small red onion, finely diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely diced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Freshly ground pepper
- Using a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups water, quinoa and pinch of salt . Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Set aside and “fluff,” until cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice and chipotle. Add olive oil in a thin stream, while whisking. Mix in beans, quinoa, green onions, red onion, yellow pepper and cilantro. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.
Chipotle will alway have special memories for me. In 1993, my husband and I moved to the Denver area from Orange County, CA. Having been born and raised in Southern California, I ate a lot of Mexican food and I mean a lot. My love for this cuisine may also be due to the fact that I was born on Cinco de Mayo. We were very desperate to find good Mexican food in our new hometown. One day, Rich took me to this restaurant near the University of Denver, it was called Chipotle. We both had the burritos and we were hooked! This was the original Chipotle founded by Steve Ells in 1993!
I am so impressed with their website that I want to share a portion of it with you. What is “Food with Integrity?” “Food with integrity is our commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers. It means serving the very best sustainably raised food possible with an eye to great taste, great nutrition and great value. It means that we support and sustain family farmers who respect the land and the animals in their care. It means that whenever possible we use meat from animals raised without the use of antibiotics or added hormones. And it means that we source organic and local produce when practical. And that we use dairy from cows raised without the use of synthetic hormones.”
We need more places like Chipotle who are committed in serving quality food, while respecting the environment, the farmers and the animals. To learn more about Steve Ells and the restaurants, please visit their website: http://www.chipotle.com/enus/chipotle_story/steves_story/steves_story.aspx