I ate this soup all by myself. I remember that I went in to work on the day that I prepared this and that leftovers were on the menu for dinner. Except, I didn't want to eat leftovers. It was a cold, rainy day. After staring out of a classroom window at the blustery, gray day and hopping in and out of the car while picking up the kiddos after school, all I wanted was a great bowl of soup. And so, while my daughters did their homework, I threw together this simple soup and then heated leftovers for them while it simmered.
This soup was just what I needed. It warmed my bones and filled my belly and made me happy. I know that I just wrote I ate it "all by myself", but that's not completely true. While staring up at me from his leftovers, the baby got a case of soup envy. And so I shared. It made him happy too.
I used prepared chicken broth in this recipe, but you could easily make a vegetarian version by using vegetable broth.
Here's how it came together:
First, I heated a little olive oil in the bottom of my small stock pot. Then I added in the equivalent of 1/2 of a large onion, diced. I just used onion that was already chopped from my refrigerator, which consisted of part red onion and part yellow onion. Any type of onion is fine. My personal favorite from the onion family is the shallot, but I didn't have any of those laying around on this particular night. Saute the onion until tender.
While the onion sautéed, I chopped the bottom part of the butternut squash that was leftover from the Squash Fries that recently wrote about. I ended up with a heaping cupful of squash.
Add the squash to the onion and saute for a few minutes longer. Salt and pepper the mixture. Then pour in 6 cups of broth and bring it to a boil. I forgot to take a picture of this step. I got a little caught up with helping with homework, heating leftovers for the kids, and toddler wrangling....
Once the broth boils, add 2 cups of wide egg noodles. Cook according to package directions, or until the noodles are tender.
While the noodles cook in the soup mixture, chop 1/2 of an 8 oz. bag of fresh baby spinach. Or if your household is like mine; chop the spinach, assist your 4th grader with long division, listen to the nightly 1st grade reading assignment, unload the dishwasher, pull your toddler off of the top of the dining room table (from where he is firing his entire toy train/tractor collection over the edge and then leaning dangerously close to toppling over while watching them crash below because, well, his head is big and heavy and the rest of his body may just follow his head onto the hardwood floor below and land on the whole train/tractor pile-up that has accumulated there) then attempt to engage him in an activity closer to the kitchen, but not quite underfoot, perhaps a session of banging on pots with a wooden spoon, then carry a basket of laundry up from the dryer (which may or may not get folded within the next 24 hours) and set the coffeemaker for the next morning. #multitasking
Add the spinach to the soup, then cook and stir for a couple of minutes until it wilts.
And that's it! Super quick and easy soup. Packed with flavor, low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and there are even some vitamins and anti-oxidants in there.
Butternut-Spinach Noodle Soup
1/2 of a large onion, diced
1 cup butternut squash, chopped
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups wide egg noodles
4-6 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat enough olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan or small stockpot to keep onion from sticking. Add diced onion and saute until tender. Add squash and saute for 3-5 minutes. Pour in broth, then bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions or until tender. Stir in spinach and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
*Add a teaspoon of Italian seasoning or a pinch of red pepper flakes with the broth if a more complex flavor is desired.
This concludes my series of posts on butternut squash. Probably. There is 1 more butternut squash staring at me from my kitchen counter as I type these words, but I think that I'm going to "give it a rest" on my posts about squash for a bit. Tune in next time for my review of ways to seed a pomegranate. Have a wonderful day, everyone!