Me: “Hey, do you want to come over?”
Alla: “Yes! Will you feed me?”
Me:  “I suppose so. How about some butternut squash soup?”
Alla:  “Yes! And Anna’s famous grilled cheese?”
Me:  “Sure, but I don’t have bread or cheese, so can you pick some up on your way?”
Alla:  “Oh, I have some tortillas and cheese, I’ll bring those and we can have quesadillas.”
Me: “Perfect! And you’re in luck – I don’t have any onions on hand either, so they won’t go into the soup.”
Alla:  “Cool! And don’t put any other icky stuff into the soup either, please.”
Me:  (rolling my eyes) “Ok, fine! See you soon.”

And that’s how I made this No-Thrills Butternut Squash Soup.  Had I been making the soup for myself, I would have thrown in some extra ingredients: cayenne pepper, coriander, perhaps some onions.  But this “no-thrills” version was delicious on its own!  Serve the soup with Green Olive, Banana Pepper, and Cilantro Quesadillas

Extra! Extra! Please notice the beautiful additions to this post: towels from my sister MangoTomato and a plate from my friend Priya – thank you girls!

No-Thrills Butternut Squash Soup


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
4 cups water (or liquid of your choice)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup milk
chopped cilantro, for garnish

1.  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed soup pot.
2.  Add butternut squash, garlic, and spices.
3.  Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes.
4.  Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender.
5.  Remove soup from heat.  Puree soup until smooth using a stick blender.
6.  Whisk in milk and reheat the soup to temperature.
7.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with cilantro.  Serve with Green Olive, Banana Pepper, and Cilantro Quesadillas.

The next day, when reheating some of the soup for lunch, I threw in a handful of shrimp and let them cook gently while the soup was simmering away.  The shrimp were perfectly tender and flavorful!

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