On chilly fall days that are starting to feel like winter, there is nothing better than a hearty bowl of piping hot soup. And the very best kind of soup? One you can whip up in under an hour. This dish features the classic sweetness and silky texture of a butternut squash soup, with a subtle spicy kick, and loads of flavor from the herbed chicken. It’s hearty enough to eat as a whole meal, and tastes even better the next day!
Pureed soups have had a special place in my heart ever since I lived in France. I spent the majority of the winter I was there bundled up in my host family’s home, trying to adjust to an old, drafty house that was heated to a far lower temperature than I was accustomed. (Spoiler alert: I never adjusted, and ended up buying an obnoxiously large coat that I would regularly sleep in.) Nearly every night dinner would begin with a hot bowl of pureed soup. This quickly became my favorite part of the meal – it was filling, chalked full of vegetables, and warmed me from the inside out.
Every year as the weather turns cooler, I get nostalgic for these soups and start to puree everything. My favorite is butternut squash. It’s the most popular gourd on the block, a quintessential fall food, and for good reason – it’s super easy to use in soups, purees into the most luxurious texture, and is affordable and easy to find.
This soup is so hearty, flavorful, and quick to whip up – It’s the perfect meal for a laid-back, cozy fall night!
Butternut Squash Soup with Herbed Chicken and White Beans
- Chicken seasoning (recipe follows)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 chicken breast, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 2-2.5 pound butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and chopped into 1″ pieces
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- pinch of cayenne
- Mix all chicken seasoning ingredients. Pat chicken pieces dry, and sprinkle both sides with all of the seasoning mixture. Heat butter and olive oil together in large, deep pan over medium-high heat. When butter has melted and begins to bubble, add chicken pieces. Cook 5-6 minutes per side, until well-browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside to rest.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions, and stir to scrape up browned bits from chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add in garlic, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Continue cooking 1 minute more. Add squash along with 6 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper to the pan. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, until squash is soft. Meanwhile, chop chicken into bite-size pieces.
- Once the squash is cooked, transfer contents in batches to a blender and puree. Return pureed mixture to pan. Add in the chopped chicken and white beans. Continue cooking over low heat for 10 more minutes. Serve hot.