What if I told you there’s a way to make delicious soup at home that won’t require a ton of work? It’s time to preheat your oven and get that big soup pot out because Leslie Bobo-Kiesel, the cook behind @gathering.page, has a viral butternut squash tomato soup recipe with more than 3 million views that proves you can and should make soup (at least occasionally) from scratch. The best part? You can use her brilliant trick to make so many different kinds of soups beyond this recipe.
The Smart Trick for Making the Viral Butternut Squash Soup
The success of Kiesel’s soup Instagram post has a lot to do with its simplicity. She roasts large chunks of butternut squash and onions, whole tomatoes, an unpeeled head of garlic, and basil leaves in a 425°F oven until tender. Imagine how much time she saves by not having to chop all those vegetables into smaller pieces and cook them in a pot one by one. Roasting them in larger pieces or whole is so smart! And they’ll get nicely caramelized in the hot oven, enhancing their flavor.
Kiesel then heats vegetable broth in a pot and adds the roasted vegetables to it. Everything is blended right in the pot with an immersion blender and she adds a bit of heavy cream at the end to make it creamier. It’s the perfect cold-weather soup, one that is easily replicable and the plethora of comments is proof.
One commenter said, “I saw this and ran to the store and immediately made it. Currently eating is as I’m typing this!!! Such a great soup!”
I recently spoke with Kiesel and she revealed that she loves creamy tomato soup, which she makes similarly. Tired of just tomatoes, she added in-season vegetables like squash and loved the results. This proves you can use any vegetables you like in soup like celery, scallions, carrots, sweet potatoes, and peppers. I list more ideas below!
My 4 Tips for Making This Soup at Home
Leslie suggests serving the soup with grilled cheese sandwiches made with gouda and sourdough.
Ready to make soup? Before you head to the store, I have a few tips to help you along.
1. Roast the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Kiesel uses an 8×8-inch baking dish to roast the vegetables, which will work, but consider using a large, rimmed baking sheet instead. The extra surface area will help the vegetables caramelize, adding even more flavor to the soup. If you go this route, wrap the head of garlic in foil after you drizzle it with a tablespoon of oil to prevent it from burning.
2. Finish the soup with lemon juice. While the tomatoes will provide a bit of acidity, a little fresh lemon juice will balance the soup and give it a pop of brightness. Add it right into the pot after it comes off the heat, or serve the soup with wedges and let your family decide how much they’d like to add.
3. You don’t need an immersion blender. While I love my immersion blender for soups just like these, you can use a regular blender. The soup is hot, so be very careful! Work in batches so that you don’t overfill the blender. Carefully vent the lid of the blender using a kitchen towel to release any pressure that comes from the steam.
4. Save the basil for the end. Basil is a delicate herb that doesn’t hold up well to heat. For that reason, consider setting it aside until you’re ready to blend the soup. Doing so will keep it tasting fresh and bright.
More Ways To Flavor This Soup
If you’re up for some experimentation, give these ideas a try.
1. Apples: Omit the tomatoes and basil, and add two cored and quartered Granny Smith apples to the baking pan. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon and one to two tablespoons apple cider vinegar to the blended soup.
2. Carrots: Omit the tomatoes and basil, and add two large shallots, two medium carrots, and two ribs of celery to the baking pan. When you serve the soup, top each bowl with thinly sliced fresh sage.
3. Sweet Potatoes: Omit the basil and add a medium sweet potato cut into large chunks. Toss the vegetables with a tablespoon of curry powder. Use coconut milk instead of heavy cream and thin the soup with extra broth, if needed.