Soul Warming Butternut Squash Soup for #SundaySupper – #HelpingHands for #HurricaneSandy Relief


The #SundaySupper Group is amazing!  Isabel, aka Family Foodie, our fearless leader, is often asking us for theme suggestions.  When it was suggested to do a #SundaySupper to help get the word out about relief efforts for Hurricane Sandy victims, the crew jumped in.  As a Jersey girl to the core (minus the big hair), this really touched my heart.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme

Although my family and friends got through the storm safely, with only minimal losses (other than a loss of power, some for up to a week and a half), many of the places that I know and love have been devastated.  At my house, we had a few small branches in the yard, and only lost power for about 40 hours.  In that short time, we were able to use our small generator to keep our fridge and freezer cold enough, and our fireplace to keep us warm enough.  I cannot tell you how thankful I am.  Although with the way The Bug sleeps, it is a good thing we only had to use this set-up for one night.

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There is actually a story as to why I chose this soup as my recipe for this Sunday Supper.  I actually made it for dinner the Friday before Sandy hit, and set aside the leftovers to photograph during the daylight hours.  I even hoarded some of the prosciutto I had crisped up so that The Hubby wouldn’t polish it off before I could pretty up the soup for photos.  We had a dinner-dance to go to on Saturday, and I was very, very busy getting a manicure and pedicure and getting ready during the time of day with the best lighting.  Sunday we were in full on storm-prep mode, and the wind and rain began to pick up.  That night, around 8:30 pm, we lost power.

By the next morning, we were hearing reports of it potentially taking days or weeks to get power back.  It was still dreary outside, and we could see fairly large trees down through our neighborhood.  Now, obviously this was super-low priority, and not nearly as bad as what many other people were going through, but I did not know when we would have bright skies, electricity, or an internet signal back.  So I had no idea when I might have a chance to photograph or blog about the soup.  And it was now lunchtime on Monday.  And I was hungry.  And we have a gas stove.  And, although we had a generator to keep the fridge going periodically, I did not want to make more food and have more leftovers to store, in case this went on for days.  Soooo…

I ATE THE SOUP!  And the prosciutto…

24 hours later, the lights came back on.  I could not have been happier!  Then I started watching some of the footage on television.  Oh my goodness, take the toppled trees we saw in my neighborhood, and multiply that by eleventy-billion.  To see the devastation was heart-wrenching.  Words cannot express it.  We are so lucky and blessed that we did not have to deal with a fraction of that!

Because we were one of the quickest to have power restored, we were able to provide a place for family and friends to relax, stay warm, eat a good meal, take a hot shower, do laundry, and even a place for my grandpa to sleep for a couple nights.  And eventually, I was also able to REMAKE THE SOUP!!!  I was totally not devastated to be eating it again.  By the time I finished the leftovers, I had eaten the soup, oh, only about 4 or 5 times in the span of two weeks.  And I call it Soul Warming Butternut Squash Soup because although we were all physically cold (some for a longer amount of time than others), many people, even some close to me, also needed, and still do need, their soul warmed after the craziness and stress and loss.  And that is what I do to show love – I make food.

While I don’t think I’ve met a butternut squash soup I didn’t like, what I loved about this one was the use of more savory spices, versus the “sweeter” ones, like cinnamon or ginger, that you often find paired with butternut squash soup.  The earthiness of the sage and thyme balanced the natural sweetness of the butternut squash, enhanced it, almost.  The texture was velvety, so a garnish of crispy prosciutto and pepitas added a salty crunch that was the perfect contrast.  Oh, and it looks pretty, too.  See…

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme

The first time I made it, I used chicken broth, and the second time, I used veggie broth.  Both delicious, so definitely a great vegetarian option (obviously without the prosciutto).  Oh, and I almost forgot – when we ate it, I also drizzled on some Greek yogurt, which added just that touch of creamy tartness, but silly me forgot to swirl it on for the photo session.  But try it – so good!

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The Hubby always claims he doesn’t like soup, and yet nearly every time I make a soup, he says, “Well, you know I am not a big fan of soup, but this is good.”  This soup actually got one of his most emphatic reactions – he raved about the flavor, the texture, and the thickness, and thought the crunchy creamy salty garnishes finished it off perfectly.  And clearly The Bug was a fan.

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Now I know this is a time of year when we all get hit up for donations from every charity under the sun, but if you have the means and can find it in your heart, it would be really incredible if you could make even a small donation to one of these two charities to help out the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Some people have lost absolutely everything.  I haven’t seen the damage firsthand, but I have been hearing the stories, and it is so devastating.  So anything would be appreciated.  Thank you!

I would also like to thank Liz Weber from That Skinny Chick Can Bake for hosting this week’s events, and all the other bloggers for participating.  You can check out all of their amazing recipes by following the links at the bottom of this post.  Also, please join on us on Twitter for #SundaySupper on November 25, 2012, throughout the day. In the evening, we will meet at 7 PM EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat.  All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.  We’d also love to feature your recipe ideas for #HelpingHands on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board so we can share them with all of our followers.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and ThymeIf you live in this area, do you have any Sandy stories to share?  If you aren’t from around here, what were your thoughts when you heard some of the stories or saw the footage?

Soul Warming Butternut Squash Soup
A velvety butternut squash soup, with the natural sweetness of the squash balanced by the savory addition of sage and thyme.
Recipe type: Soup
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 T chopped fresh sage
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 2 c chicken or vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper
  • Optional garnishes: Crispy prosciutto or bacon, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), Greek yogurt/sour cream
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the squash, onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion and squash are starting to get tender.
  4. Add the sage and thyme, and saute for another minute or two.
  5. Add the broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  6. Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor.
  7. Return soup to the pot, and heat it through.
  8. Serve in bowls, garnished as desired.


Butternut Squash Soup with Sage and Thyme

Feeling inspired?  Join us Around the Family Table for Sunday Supper and let’s make a difference in the lives of others.  Our #SundaySupper this week is all about #HelpingHands to those that need our help.

Breakfast and Brunch:
Comforting Casseroles and Entrées:
Warming Soups and Sides:
Sweet Endings:



Want to see lots more yummy food from me and my friends, and cute pictures of my kids? 

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  1. says

    You were lucky to have power back so quickly. And also to have the soup to easily heat up for meals. I love butternut squash soup and it is very soul warming. I’ll have to try swirling in Greek yogurt next time.

  2. says

    We also suffered power outage for about 5 days and some trees uprooted in our backyard.But compared to others it seems like nothing and I consider ourselves so lucky to have survived Sandy!Your soup seems like the perfect comforting meal and I love the first pic!Gorgeous :)

  3. says

    Such a heartwarming story! So glad to hear you made it out ok. I was fortunate to not lose power, but on the other side of the mountain from me, they lost power for days. At least you had this soup to keep you warm as you waited! And an excuse to make it again, you know for photographs 😉

  4. says

    Such a story…I love that it actually did get you through these times. I can only imagine how scary/nerve-wracking/frustrating it was to be experiencing the effects first-hand. It sounds absolutely amazing…and ummmm…crisped prosciutto? Yes, please. :)

    • says

      I think the most nerve-wracking thing was my little guy who had cabin fever, but if it had gone on longer, it would have been very scary. Since I am pregnant and I think prosciutto falls into the category of the “lunchmeat” I am not supposed to eat cold, I am all over making it crispy now.

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