When temperatures drop, roasted butternut squash soup often becomes a popular fall favorite. This version features edible, spicy nasturtium flowers.
The special soup was created just for Seasonal Wisdom readers by the talented and creative Chef Brenda Thompson, RD. Enjoy this colorful soup in late-summer and early-fall, when nasturtiums are blooming wildly, and butternut squash and carrots are growing like mad in the garden. A cup of this delicious and nutritious soup will take the chill off …
If you’ve never eaten an edible nasturtium flower, you’re in for a culinary treat! The peppery flowers have been eaten for centuries, and were grown in Monticello by Thomas Jefferson. The leaves are edible too, as are the unopened buds which were pickled as capers by many early gardeners.
Nasturtiums grow best from seeds planted after the last frost date. These easy-care plants flower more with less nitrogen, so don’t plant them in rich soil. Remember safety! Only eat edible flowers specifically grown for consumption. Never eat sprayed flowers. Learn more about edible flowers.
Chef Brenda’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Nasturtiums
This delicious soup, created by Chef Brenda, features fall flavors that are highly nutritious as well.
Just one cup of butternut squash will provide 300 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and 50 percent of vitamin C, along with iron, calcium and potassium. All for only 60 calories.
Prep time: 60 min. Cook time: 60 min.
2 cups unsprayed nasturtium petals, without stems
3 lb butternut squash, raw, cubed
1 cup raw onion, chopped
1/2 cup raw celery, chopped
1/2 cup raw carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon raw ginger root
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 cups chicken broth, 99% fat free
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2: Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and strings of squash; discard. Rub 1/2 tbsp of olive oil on both cut ends of the squash.
Step 3: Place the cut squash ends on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. Peel the skin from the squash and discard skin.
Step 4: Heat 1/2 tbsp in a large sauté pan; sweat onions, carrots, and celery until onions are opaque. Add ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, squash, and 2 1/2 cups of broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Place in a blender or food processor; add remaining broth and flower petals. Blend soup until smooth. If soup is still thick add more broth or water. If the soup is too thin, heat in a sauce pan until soup reaches desired constancy.
Garnish with nasturtiums and a drizzle of reduced cream*.
*Optional: Reduce 1 cup of heavy cream in a small sauce pan by boiling at a very low heat for 20-25 minutes. Reduce cream until thick and smooth.
About Chef Brenda Thompson:
Based in Idaho, this creative chef is also a registered dietitian, who is helping Idaho Department of Education to develop healthy school meals.
Here’s her website with other yummy recipes.
Here’s an interview I conducted with Chef Brenda for Fiskars (as a paid writer). She gives advice on how to get kids to eat more garden-fresh foods — plus recipes!
Enjoying edible flowers — more advice and recipes to enjoy:
What’s your favorite autumn soup? Are you already a big fan of nasturtiums?