Thick and creamy roasted pecan butternut squash soup with coconut milk and sauteed leek. This easy, silky soup is paleo, vegan, and Whole30 compliant.
This post is sponsored by The American Pecan Council.
If one of your goals for 2018 is to clean up your food game, I have just the soup for you! It’s a creamy, creamless butternut squash soup that is easy to prepare and such a pleasure to consume.
Blending roasted pecans, sautéed leek, roasted butternut squash, coconut milk, broth, and nutmeg in a blender yields dreamy, cozy, soup which can serve as an awesome make-ahead meal or side dish. All things added up, this soup is dairy-free, vegan, paleo, Whole30-compliant, and crazy yummy!
Let’s back up a tick. It may seem odd to add nuts to a soup, but this isn’t the first time we’ve done so on this site (check out my Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup recipe I posted a few months ago). I like that pecans add some plant-based protein and good fats, as well as nutty flavor and thick, smooth texture. In this sense, pecans can be incorporated into all sorts of recipes, whether sweet or savory, chewable or slurpable.
If you’re looking to increase your protein and/or fat intake (this is something I’m constantly paying attention to), pecans are a delicious way to do so. Compared to other nuts, pecans are among the lowest in carbs and highest in good fats. You can learn more about the health benefits of pecans from my Loaded Sweet Potato Skins with Pecans, Chicken and Bacon, and Roasted Butternut Squash Kale Salad with Pecans and Orange Vinaigrette posts.
I’ve made many-a-butternut-squash soup recipe in my day, and I have to say, this one’s my favorite to date. The roasted pecans lend a nutty flavor, the leek gives you that nice subtle onion essence without being too overpowering, the coconut milk makes the soup ultra silky-smooth, and the tiniest touch of nutmeg gives it that little je ne sais quois.
As I mentioned last week, I’m doing a Whole30 for the month of January, so this exact soup has been one of those saving graces to have around for those times I find myself super hungry and need a bowl of something comforting to tide me over between meals. It can also make for a full-on dinner if you’re looking to keep things light.
I like to top the soup with some homemade pesto sauce (check out the broccoli pesto from this recipe if you want to follow suit!), more roasted pecans, and a sprinkle of chopped green onion. You can get creative with your soup toppers, or keep it plain jane!
Whether you’ve resolved to change up your diet or just love a really great tasting soup, this roasted pecan butternut squash soup will be great company for the rest of the winter (and into the summer months if that’s your jam!).
Roast those pecans!
Roasted Pecan Butternut Squash Soup
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Chop the tip and tail off the butternut squash and halve it length-wise. Scoop out the seeds and innards. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast cut-side down 50 to 60 minutes, or until flesh is very soft when poked with a fork.
Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and roast for 3 minutes while the squash is roasting, or until golden-brown and crunchy. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a high-powered blender, discarding the skin.
While squash is roasting, sauté the leek. Add the coconut oil to a skillet and heat to medium-high. Add the leek and sauté, stirring occasionally, until leek is bright green and softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer sautéed leek to the blender along with 2/3 cup of the roasted pecans, coconut milk, broth, sea salt, and nutmeg. Blend on high until completely creamy and any lumps are out. Taste soup for flavor and add more sea salt if desired.
Serve with chopped green onion, pesto sauce, and the remaining roasted pecans.
*You can use chicken broth if you aren't vegetarian