Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Squash Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream

Well friends, we did it.  We survived week 1 of my return to work.  Each day got a little better for Elliott.  He regressed a little on Monday of this week, but hopefully he’ll be the “happiest baby on the planet” again on Friday like they described last Friday.  Honestly the hardest adjustment for me is not being away from him, like you might expect.  Probably because I’ve been working at my current job since 2005 it instantly felt normal to be back.  The hardest adjustment is our evenings when I get home from work.  It is physically impossible for me to cook anything for dinner because Elliott insists on eating first, and for a good 45 minutes usually.  I’ll go ahead and tell you most things we’ve been eating for dinner came from our freezer.  It’s still better than fast food, so I don’t care!  I’m cooking here & there on the weekends, but of course my first concern is spending time with my baby!  (See below the recipe for a picture I took for Elliott’s 3 month photos!)  I’ve snapped a few photos of food here & there, so hopefully some of that stuff will make it to the blog.

I’m SO thankful for everyone who has helped me ease back into work.  As I said, I’ve got a few guest bloggers scheduled, and first up is another Nashvillian, Lesley of the blog LesleyEats.  Lesley is a vegetarian, living with an omnivore, raising a MiniEats toddler.  She’s very knowledgable of the Nashville food scene, and can also whip up great recipes.  Today she’s sharing a soup recipe that uses a vegetable I’m sure many of you have in abundance, squash!  Enjoy!  (And be sure to check out her blog for more great recipes!)

This time of year, I see a lot of the same question on Twitter: “What should I do with this squash?”. And without fail, I humbly suggest my favorite squash soup. I think it’s frequently met with some doubt. I mean, who wants to eat soup in August? But you can serve this soup chilled! Actually, I prefer it just lukewarm. It’s good either way (and hot, too). So I have to give friends a nudge or two in order to get them to try it. Even Mr. Eats was skeptical at first, but he loves it now. At least, the first night I serve it (note: this makes quite a bit of soup).

I serve it as an entrée, but it’s also a great accompaniment to any summer meal. Pair it with tacos (the avocado lime cream makes everything taste better, particularly tacos) or a quinoa salad. But beware: it’s actually quite filling.

And you can use any yellow squash for this soup, but my favorite is pattypan because I don’t have to de-seed it.  If you use straightneck or crookneck squash, the seeds need to be removed so they don’t dilute the soup too much. The other note I’d make is to be sure to use a good broth. I use vegetable broth, but if you have a chicken broth you really like, you can use that, too. Oh, I also use an immersion blender and puree it right in the stockpot. But you can also pour half the soup at a time in the blender if that’s what you’ve got. I haven’t tried it in a food processor, but it would probably be a little chunky.

There’s really nothing else to say about this soup other than it tastes great and it’s simple and super easy! When made with vegetable stock (and minus the avocado lime cream), it’s vegan! But a dollop of the avocado-lime cream and a few sprigs of cilantro are the perfect complements.


Squash Soup with Avocado-Lime Cream

Yield: 2-4 servings


3-4 summer squashes, seeds removed and cut into thin chunks
2 small/medium shallots, thinly sliced (or ¼ cup diced onion)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

Avocado Lime Cream:
1 avocado, sliced
the juice of one lime
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
a handful of cilantro, rinsed


Add the olive oil to a large skillet and turn on medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until soft (about five minutes). Add the squash and cook another 5-10 minutes (or until soft).

In the meantime, combine the broth, water, and salt in a large saucepan and heat to a boil. Add the sauteed squash and bulbs and simmer until very tender (about 30 minutes). Set aside to cool. Once cooled, puree the soup (with a stick blender, food processor, or blender). Chill or serve room temperature. Add avocado-lime cream and serve.

Avocado Lime Cream:
Place the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Elliott says “Hey… Thanks for reading my momma’s blog y’all.  And a special thanks to LesleyEats for guest-posting this awesome looking soup!”


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