When it comes to making easy family dinners, your freezer is your best friend. Stock your freezer well, and in the morning, take one of your family’s favorite dishes out. Leave it to thaw during the day. Then you just need to warm it up and serve it when you get home. With fresh, homemade food stocked in your freezer, it’s like having a grocery store at home.
Keeping soup in the freezer is a must because a bowl or two of hearty soup is half the meal. Pair the soup with an omelet or ham and cheese crepes (keep crepes stocked in the freezer too), then follow with fresh fruit and nuts for dessert. It takes under 15 minutes to make this healthy delicious 4-course meal. It’s almost effortless.
Stocking soup in the freezer can help you make easy dinners, and this soup recipe can help you get your kids to eat vegetables. Vegetable filled butternut squash bisque is rich and creamy with a delicate hint of sweetness to appeal to even the fussy palate. In addition to the flavor, the texture is also appealing since kids tend to prefer thicker bisque-style soups over soups with thin broths.
Read the notes below to find time-saving tips as well as tips on freezing and how to turn this recipe into an educational and family-friendly activity.
5 cups of butternut squash, whole squash peeled and cut. See notes below
1 yellow onion (not sweet), diced. About 1 1/2 cups
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 tbsp fresh sage
5 cups chicken broth or bone broth
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp butter
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the squash. Pre-cut squash is also available at the grocery store, but I prefer to prepare it at home to ensure its freshness.
3. Cut the butternut squash in half and use a spoon to clean out the seeds. You can either discard the seeds or rinse them, then toast the seeds with sea salt and olive oil. The seeds make a healthy snack, or apéritif, and are delicious in salads.
4. Chop the butternut squash into 1 – 2-inch cubes.
5. Place the cut butternut squash on a cookie sheet, drizzle with two tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Using your hands or a spatula, toss the butternut squash to coat it with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
6. Place the squash in the oven and roast for about 25 - 30 minutes, tossing it once or twice during cooking to cook it evenly and prevent it from sticking to the tray. Cook the squash until it is lightly browned. The browning caramelizes the squash, adding a rich layer of flavor.
7. In a soup pot, add the butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, celery, sage, and sauté until translucent, about 10 mins. Your kitchen will smell so good!
8. Add the butternut squash to the pot. Add the stock or broth. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
9. The last step is to puree the soup. For easy cleanup, I suggest using an immersion blender. If you want to use a blender, let the soup cool down before using it. In a blender, hot soup can explode. I had to learn that the hard way. It’s difficult to get soup off the ceiling.
Serve with homemade sage or thyme croutons. The addition of homemade croutons to your soups and salads will delight every member of your family. It has also been my experience that a few croutons make soups and salads more appealing to picky eaters. Make croutons from stale bread and freeze them.
The most time-consuming task in this recipe is chopping the vegetables, but even the youngest chef can assist. With this child-safety knife, you can have your kids help you.
This soup can be made in stages. On day one, prepare and roast the squash. In the refrigerator, it can be stored for up to two days until you can finish the recipe. It is often easier to find 15 - 20 minutes to cook over a few days rather than 45 minutes at one time.
Use silicone freezer trays like Souper Cubes to store soup in the freezer. The trays are easy to clean and easy to remove frozen foods from.
You can use a Ziplock freezer bag if you don't have any freezer containers. Placing the baggies in a tall glass or container while ladling the soup into them is an easy and mess-free way to fill them. Prop up the baggies in the freezer so they don't fall over and leak.
Leftover soup can make a delicious dish. Use leftover soup as a sauce for ravioli or pasta. Leftover soup usually thickens, making it ideal for tossing with pasta. The thick soup will coat the pasta nicely.
If you have leftover sage, leftover sage in butter can also be frozen and used later to make Burro e Salvia—pasta with sage butter, an Italian recipe that's as easy as one, two, three: Butter, sage, and pasta. It takes the buttered noodle to a new level.
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