Whether you like butternut squash, acorn, buttercup, or the ever popular pumpkin, winter squash is just a great food. I’ve found endless possibilities for creating delicious and nutritious meals. The sweet, nutty flavor and creamy texture lend well to so many flavorful cuisines, including Mexican, Asian, and Italian flavors.
The one drawback, or intimidation, some people have with squash is the issue of cutting and peeling it to use in recipes. I’ll admit, if you don’t have proper knives, it can be a bit a painful. So, when my husband came home from the butcher one day with a 4lb package of frozen, cooked, mashed butternut squash, I felt like I hit the jackpot – this would be perfect for a big batch of soup!
The squash sat in the freezer for a while until I had some time, and the inspiration to make a new soup. My very good friend Vanessa told me about a soup she made involving a can of pumpkin, black beans, chicken, corn, broth, and southwest seasonings. That sounded pretty darn good to me – but I wanted to make it more squash-based. I wanted it oh-so-thick and creamy, the point of feeling guilty. Good thing I had 4lbs to work with!
My end result: a spicy, flavorful, and filling soup containing just 282 calories and 4 grams of fat in a hefty 2 cup serving. And, it has 26 grams of protein – perfect for me, as I have been trouble getting enough into my diet lately.
This recipe makes enough for 7 servings, 2 cups each. I froze it in individual portions to bring for workday lunches.
Southwestern Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken and Black Beans
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced chipotle peppers
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp cumin
4 cups light fat free chicken broth
6 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash or pumpkin
2 cups salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1lb (~2.5 cups) cooked roasted chicken, chopped
southwest seasoning, salt, pepper
In a large nonstick pot or dutch oven coated with cooking spray, saute onion for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and chipotle, and cook for one more minute. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 20-30 minutes to blend flavors. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.