I think this might be, hands down, the easiest soup I have ever made. The lead in this silky soup is pureed butternut squash which is so velvety smooth that it only needs a couple of supporting actors to make it worthy of the main stage.
I have made this with both fresh lemon grass and ginger. The lemongrass lends a subtle refreshing flavor that cuts through the richness of the squash. Whereas the ginger intensifies the warmth and depth. My favorite? It depends on what kind of weather it is outside. The ginger is for rainy days where you need something warm and soothing whereas the lemongrass fits in those days where there is still a snap in the air but you can feel spring is coming.
I buy lemon grass when my local farmers market sells it. I chop of the top bits and freeze the bulbs for later use. You can use the tops to infuse hot water for a lemongrass herbal tea.
This soup is SCD friendly. Shallots are easier for many to digest compared to regular yellow onions. You still get the onion flavor without the side effects.
A note on using olive oil for sautéing. You hear everywhere that olive oil is so healthy and we should be pouring it over everything and frying everything in it. Extra virgin olive oil comes from the first pressing of the olives. This oil is an unsaturated fat which means that if you heat it, it becomes unstable and possibly a carcinogen. Do not heat extra virgin olive oil. The taste is also far to superior so use it on your salads, as a garnishing drizzle on soups or sauces. Regular olive oil, not extra virgin, on the other hand comes from second pressings. These are more saturated in nature and thus more stable when you heat them. Never let your oil get so hot that it starts smoking. Another great oil to use for frying, sautéing etc is coconut oil.
1 tbs olive oil or coconut oil
1 small shallot, diced
8 oz carrots, diced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 large stalks of lemongrass, bashed or 1 tsp grated ginger
2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and diced in 1 inch cubes
3 cups / 24 floz boiling water
salt and pepper to taste
fried shallots for garnish, optional
Heat a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.
Add the oil.
When oil has heated up, turn the heat to low-medium and add the shallots and carrots. Sweat till the shallots turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and either the lemongrass or ginger, stir for 30 seconds.
Add the squash and stir.
Add 3 cups of boiling water and bring to a simmer.
Simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Blend it with a stick blender or in your food processor.
Thin out with more boiling water if desired.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish each individual bowl with fried shallots and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.
Reheats really well and will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy a nice warm cuppa for lunch on a cold or rainy day!