This butternut squash & wild rice soup from Heidi Swanson’s new cookbook, Near & Far, is as delicious as it is beautiful. It’s also healthy and gluten free.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m so thankful to you for stopping by A Side of Sweet for and connecting with me via comments, emails and social media. The internet is a big place and it means so much that you landed here in my little corner of the internet.
As I was sitting down to write about Heidi Swanson’s (of 101 Cookbooks) new cookbook, Near & Far, I was thinking of the right word to describe how I feel about Heidi’s career as a food blogger. The first word that popped into my mind was envious. I immediately threw that out. I think a better word is actually inspiring. Heidi has made clean and healthy eating mainstream, I think more than any other blog. She is a household name and a blog that all of my non-blogging friends read. She was one of the first food bloggers and it’s amazing to see how she turned her passion for clean eats into a career.
I wanted to make a few recipes before I shared my thoughts on the cookbook, in order to give you a more honest review. So far, I’ve made the salted sweet potatoes, which were incredible and got rave reviews at a recent dinner party. I also made her Harira (Moroccan stew), which was so hearty and filling. It’s our new favorite comfort food.
The recipe I’m sharing here today is for Roasted Squash & Wild Rice Soup. I made it with butternut squash, as I had a few on hand from our CSA. Of course it was absolutely delicious! What really impressed me though, were the few special touches that Heidi gave it to really make it stand out.
First, I learned how to make ginger juice, which I didn’t even know was a thing. Second, there’s homemade rosemary butter for serving which adds both flavor and visual interest. And lastly is the addition of wild rice. I don’t think this soup could get any prettier, but it also helps take this soup from more of a side to an actual meal. In short, we loved it and I’ll definitely be adding this to my winter soup repertoire. In addition, the recipe states that it can be made with other squash as well, including pumpkin! I think we’ll be trying that version next.
I thought Near & Far was a great peek into the places that Heidi has traveled to that have shaped her as a cook. I absolutely adore her delicious recipes that are paired with stories of home or travel and simple, but beautiful, photos. In addition, every time I tried a recipe from Near & Far, I felt like I learned a new ingredient or a new cooking technique. I am constantly looking for ways to improve as a chef, so this was huge for me. The book is going to be something I turn to again and again for that healthy dish that’s just got that extra something special that only Heidi can give it.
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Squash & Wild Rice Soup Recipe
This butternut squash & wild rice soup from Heidi Swanson’s new cookbook, Near & Far, is as delicious as it is beautiful. It’s also healthy and gluten-free.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Lemon Ginger Rosemary Butter Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces | 115 grams) unsalted butter
- Chopped leaves from a 4-inch (10 cm) sprig of rosemary
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
Ginger Juice Ingredients:
- A large knob of fresh ginger
Squash Wild Rice Soup Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces | 55 grams) unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, cut into eighths
- 2 large shallots, halved
- 1 whole serrano chile, stemmed
- 1 tablespoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 1/2 pounds (1.1 kilograms) pumpkin or squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch (2 cm) chunks
- 9 cups (2 liters) water
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger juice
- 2 to 4 cups (10 to 20 ounces | 300 to 600 grams) warm cooked wild rice, to serve
- Plain yogurt (leave out if vegan) and toasted pepitas, to serve
Make the Lemon Ginger Rosemary Butter:
- To make the lemon ginger rosemary butter, heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 3 minutes – long enough for it to start to brown a bit.
- Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the rosemary, lemon zest, grated ginger, and salt
- stir well and let sit for 5 minutes or so. Strain the butter and reserve the pulp to serve separately.
Make the Ginger Juice:
- Grate the ginger (a fine Microplane grater works well) and scoop the grated ginger pulp into a fine-mesh strainer.
- Use your fingers to press the juice into a bowl.
- You might find it helpful to make a loose fist and run your knuckles around the sides and bottom of the strainer. (You can, of course, speed the process by using a juicer.)
Make the Squash & Wild Rice Soup:
- To make the soup, melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions, shallots, serrano, and salt.
- Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, then add the pumpkin and the water (less if you like a thicker soup, though this soup is nice on the thinner side).
- Bring just to a simmer and cook until the squash is completely tender throughout about 15 minutes.
- Note that the time it takes will differ among different squash varietals.
- Remove from the heat, puree with a hand blender until smooth, and stir in the ginger juice.
- If you like an even thinner soup, add a bit more water at this point, then stir in more salt to taste.
- Serve over a big scoop of wild rice with a dollop of yogurt, some pepitas, the lemon ginger rosemary butter, and a bit of pulp.
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