Butternut Squash Soup with Sautéed Green Peas and Pesto Sauce

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  • Makes about 7 cups
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This butternut squash soup is so good, even if you only have time to make one of the two beautiful and tasty toppings. However, I highly recommend that you make both whenever possible, so you can fully enjoy the flavors and textural contrasts of the mildly sweet, silky-smooth soup; the tangy peas-and-green-onion topping; and the grassy, nutty, bright taste of the fresh pesto. The combination transforms three simple parts into a deliciously complex whole.

From The Forks Over Knives Plan


1. To make the soup, place the squash in a large sauté pan with a lid and add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and simmer until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool; do not drain. Transfer the squash and its cooking water to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, to make the topping, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the peas and boil until very tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the peas and let cool.

3. Cook the green onions and 2 to 3 tablespoons of water in a sauté pan over medium heat, until they are tender and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the peas, lime juice, and pepper, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until the ingredients are blended and warmed through, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.

4. To make the sauce, place the basil, pine nuts, garlic, pepper, and salt to taste in a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Transfer to a small dish and stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to make a creamy paste.

5. When ready to serve, warm the soup until hot and ladle it into bowls. Top each serving with a spoonful of the sautéed green pea mixture, and garnish with a spoonful of the pesto sauce. Serve hot.

Photo by LA Food Photography

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For the soup:

  • 10 cups peeled, seeded, and cubed butternut squash (3 pounds)

For the topping:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1½ cups finely chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 to 2 limes)
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

For the sauce:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt

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