4 OPTIONS FOR THE SQUASH:
1. RAW: healthiest & fastest option. Buy peeled, organic butternut squash (fresh or frozen) OR cut the peeling off of your fresh, whole butternut squash. I use all of the seeds and squash meat in my soup. Maximize the nutrition :)
2. STOVETOP: Cut butternut squash in half and cook in a pan with lid, open side down, covering the bottom of the pan with water. Cook 10-15 min or until tender. Less cooking is better for nutritional value.
3. BAKE: You can also bake your squash at 400 open side down in a pan with 1/4 inch of water for approx. 25min.
4. CROCK POT: Halve your squash and place open side down in the CROCK POT with 1 inch of water, 4 hours max, on low. It's ok to have 2 layers of squash in your crock.
Scoop your cooked squash, seeds and all, out of the shells OR simply add your raw squash meat to a high power blender with all the other ingredients. Blend on high until you have a smoothe consistency. If you have a Vitamix, continue blending until your soup is hot. If you don’t have a blender that can “cook” your soup, simply pour the soup puree into a pot after blending and heat to desired temperature. Again, only cook as much as is necessary, but learn to cook less and preserve the nutritional value of your foods.
Drizzle tiny bit of olive oil in a glass pan or cookie sheet. Add pine nuts/pumpkin seeds and toss in oil. Sprinkle with cinnamon and toss around in oil again. Bake/toast until browned or slightly crisp, about 15-20 min. Get this started while you make the soup. It will finish about the same time.
Garnish with toasted pine nuts or pumpkin seeds (fresh basil leaves optional) and serve!