Yes, I know, in just a few days the solstice will signal the arrival of infinitessimally more daylight, a few seconds a day, though it won't be obvious to... well, to anyone except my optimistic husband Ted, at least for a few more months. I do not get through the longest, darkest nights of winter with a camping lamp plastered to my forehead. I cook my way through, with soup: rich, thick, sweet and almost always a bit spicy. This butternut squash, peanut and chipotle soup hits all the marks. It's creamy, yet dairy-free, and gluten-free, too. Most important, this African-inspired soup will make you forget all about the darkness and the cold. You'll be too busy licking your lips.
Butternut squash, peanut and chipotle soup
2 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and cut into chunks
1-1/4 lb cubed peeled butternut squash
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, diced, plus 1-2 tsp adobo sauce (to taste)
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp peanut butter
3 cups chicken stock (homemade or low-sodium store-bought)
1 Tbsp honey or agave nectar, or more, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onion, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, until quite soft and just beginning to brown.
Stir in the cubed squash, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the squash starts to brown here and there. Then, stir in the chipotle pepper, garlic and cumin. Stir everything together, and add the peanut butter. Stir again, and cook for 1 minute or until the peanut butter begins to melt.
Pour in the chicken stock, raise the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Then, reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 25 minutes, until the squash is very soft.
Remove the pot from the stove, and purée with an immersion blender (let the soup cool for a few minutes, then blend in a food processor, in batches if necessary). Return the pot to the stove, taste, and season with honey and black pepper.
Serve hot. Can be made ahead and frozen.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Butternut squash, apple and vadouvan soup
Squash, sweet potato and carrot soup
Winter squash panzanella
Vegan butternut squash and chickpea stew
Salmon chipotle chowder with orzo and corn
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Chipotle chili butternut squash soup, from Food Blogga
Mexican spiced butternut squash soup with beans and corn, from Andrea Meyers
Peanut butter hummus, from Dula Notes
Peanut butter chicken slow cooker recipe, from A Year of Slow Cooking
West African groundnut stew, from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.