Gluten Free Living – 2016
Oh my goodness, Gingered Butternut Squash Soup tastes so much like Panera Bread’s Autumn Squash Chowder! I wasn’t trying to do a remake on my Panera Bread’s Autumn Squash Chowder recipe. But this recipe comes very close to their newer formulation of Autumn Squash Chowder which is much sweeter and less spicy than their original version from several years ago. This particular version is vegan and gluten free, not to mention, low calorie, healthy and clean-eating.
When we were in Baltimore earlier this fall, we stopped at a Panera Bread for lunch. Of course, I ordered their Autumn Squash Chowder because it’s my favorite thing on their menu and you can only get it in the fall. This version was completely different from what I remember their original version tasting like.
The soup was MUCH sweeter. It also no longer had the delicious bite to it from curry, cumin or some other spice. It was still good, just not like the original version from 3-4 years ago. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed in the soup, but I did prefer the original because it had a very gentle kick to it.
Actually, this recipe was created when I was trying to make a delicious soup for my neighbor, who recently underwent gall bladder surgery. She needed food without any oil, so I thought I would make this in the crockpot so I wouldn’t need to saute anything.
I added vegetable broth, a couple of Gala apples, D’Anjou pears, freshly grated ginger, garlic and onion. For the seasonings, I added cinnamon and nutmeg for the spicy flavor and thyme to balance out all the sweetness from the apples, pears and butternut squash. Wow! This recipe was amazing. I LOVED it. (And so did my neighbors). 🙂
Because I made this soup in the crockpot it was so easy. I baked the two butternut squashes at the same time I was cooking everything in the crockpot. Then I added them at the end of the cooking cycle to the crockpot. Except for chopping up the fruit and veggies, there really isn’t a lot of work to this soup, yet it is incredibly tasty.
I made our neighbors a loaf of Italian Seven Grain Bread (which they kept raving over) to go along with it, a large salad, and a batch of Pumpkin Blondies. While she couldn’t eat the bread and dessert, I made that for her husband and step-daughter. They enjoyed the meal and I found a new fave go-to soup recipe in the process.
Creating new recipes is a fun process. I have to tell you, I could not have done it to the degree I do now ten years ago. But as you keep at it you get better in the process of finding out what combinations of ingredients work well with others. If you’re on the lookout for a dynamite soup that’s reminiscent of Panera Bread’s Autumn Squash Soup, then give my Gingered Butternut Squash Soup a try. I guarantee you’ll be going back for more.
Gingered Butternut Squash Soup tastes a lot like Panera Bread’s updated version of Autumn Squash Soup.
Add your favorite bread, and you have comfort food for any fall or winter night.
This lovely Gingered Butternut Squash Soup is so easy to make because it’s made in the crockpot.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients. I would have added leeks if I’d had any.
Pour vegetable broth into a crockpot.
Add chopped apples, pears, onions, garlic, fresh ginger, salt, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Cook on high heat about 2 hours.
While veggies and fruit are cooking in the crockpot, bake the butternut squash in a 400 degree oven until soft and tender. It may take 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on the size of the squash. Remove peel and seeds. Chunk the butternut squash and add to the crockpot.
Since the squash is already hot and cooked, you can use an immersion blender immediately to puree the soup.
Garnish Gingered Butternut Squash Soup with a sprinkle of cinnamon, fresh thyme leaves, or pumpkin seeds, as desired.
This was really good with fresh thyme and pumpkin seeds on top.
A few gratings of fresh cinnamon or a sprinkle of cinnamon from your spice rack will also work.
Dip your favorite bread into Gingered Butternut Squash Soup and you will have a memorable meal that’s quite enjoyable.
Here’s the recipe.
GINGERED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
(My own concoction)
Gingered Butternut Squash Soup is a great recipe to make for company. If you enjoy butternut squash soups, this one is first rate!
You can always leave off the bread if you’re trying to maintain a gluten free meal. Just add fresh thyme and pumpkin seeds for garnish and enjoy a delicious vegan soup to die for!