- 2 small or 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- ¼ cup grass-fed butter
- 8 fresh sage leaves, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 8 cups broth, vegetable or chicken
- Black pepper, to taste
- Toasted pumpkin seeds or popcorn, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Toss butternut squash cubes with oil and spread into an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 50 minutes, or until squash is golden brown being careful not to burn or else soup will become bitter.
- In a small saucepan that is light in color (such as stainless steel), add butter and heat over medium until it begins to foam. Turn down to medium-low and add 5 sage leaves until they are crispy, about 1 minute. Remove to a paper towel to drain.
- Keep simmering butter until the solids separate from the fat and settle on the bottom of the pan and become golden brown. Stir often to avoid burning. (A light colored pan bottom helps you to see the brown solids.)
- Once butter has browned, pour into a soup pot and add onions and salt. Over medium heat, sweat onions until they are translucent.
- Chop remaining sage leaves and add them with the garlic to the onions. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add roasted butternut squash and broth to the pot and use an immersion blender or work in batches to puree the soup. The consistency should be silky and soupy, not chunky and thick like baby food. Add more broth if necessary to thin.
- Once pureed, bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes until flavors mingle. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve topped with fried sage leaves, toasted pumpkin seeds, and/or popcorn as desired.
Being honest, I’m not that big of a Thanksgiving food fan.
Turkey is not my favorite meat and the bird is usually so big it dries out as it cooks. Then factor in really rich food with a serious lack of vegetables and I’m just not that into it. News flash: the post-meal nap is not due to the tryptophan, it’s because you ate the richest biggest meal of the year and your body needs to nearly shut down to deal with it.
Let’s take a minute to unwrap that myth.
Turkey contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid precursor to healthy serotonin production and having sufficient levels of it does promote a healthy sleep cycle. It also is necessary for proper nitrogen balance in our bodies, so pretty vital. It is an essential amino acid, meaning that we need to consume it in our diets because our bodies cannot make it on their own.
While turkey contains this amino acid, it is not unique or special by comparison to other meats like chicken or beef. Animal proteins are a good source of tryptophan. But so are almonds, sesame seeds, spirulina, and beans.
When present with other amino acids, like in food sources, tryptophan will not make you drowsy. But when taken alone in supplement form, it can help aid in sleeping disorders.
Now that “The Great Thanksgiving Myth” is cleared up, let’s talk about why this recipe is the bomb.
While still being rich with using brown butter, this will probably be the lightest option on the table, which means first dibs on dessert while everyone else is napping. Or it means you’ll have to clean while everyone else is napping, depends on your crowd!
You can choose to skip the butter browning process, but I think it gives the soup a lot of depth, especially if you’re opting for boxed broth instead of making your own. The garlic and sage flavors also compliment the sweetness of the squash really nicely. Plus you can make the soup a day or two ahead of time and save on oven space for the big day! Overall a big win!
Here are some ideas for your Thanksgiving leftovers:
- Don’t throw out the turkey carcass! Shred off the remaining meat and make homemade broth in the crockpot with the bones.
- Use your homemade turkey broth and leftover meat in this tasty Tortilla Soup recipe.
- Mix your leftovers into a frittata for a day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast.
- Eat them as a Collard Green Wrap for some extra vegetables.
- Freeze a mix of them into single serving containers so that you can enjoy Thanksgiving food all year long!