Creamy Butternut Squash & Five-Spice Soup
February 2, 2016

Creamy butternut squash and five spice soup | The Full Helping

As I was writing this post, I realized that I actually have very few butternut squash soups on the blog. It’s a strange oversight, because I love squash soup, and it’s probably my most reliable “go-to” when it comes to an easy fall or winter appetizer. This creamy butternut squash and five spice soup features a unique flavor addition of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds–the characteristic blend known as Chinese five-spice powder.

I purchased a bottle of Chinese five-spice this past fall, prompted by my best friend and her husband, who traveled to China last year and returned home with lots of culinary inspiration (and quite a few bags of spices and peppers). I’ve fallen in love with the stuff; it’s a perfect compliment to sweet and savory dishes, and as many longtime readers of this blog know, I have a weakness for those!

Creamy butternut squash and five-spice soup | The Full Helping

The silky smooth texture of this soup is thanks to a new kitchen asset: the Blendtec Designer 625 high speed blender.

Blendtec Giveaway | The Full Helping

When the folks at Blendtec reached out to me about an opportunity to share a brand new Designer 625 blender with one of my readers, I was thrilled. I’ve been personally curious about the Blendtec for a long time; I know it’s one of the most powerful high speed blenders on the market, and I’ve heard awesome things about both its lightweight quality and also the variable settings (which make it easy to blend for an appropriate time, based on what sort of recipe you’re creating).

Now that I’ve had a chance to use the Blendtec Designer 625 for several weeks, I’ve been thrilled with it. I’ve owned a Vitamix for a long time, and it’s also a wonderful machine, but I think the Blendtec has a few features that make it really unique within the high-speed blender market.

First, it’s lightweight, which means that it’s easy to keep in a cabinet or hutch and then effortlessly carry to the countertop when you’re ready to cook. This is a huge advantage for those of us who don’t have enough counter space to house a sizeable blender permanently. It’s also shorter and wider than other high speed blenders, which means that it can fit under a cabinet on your countertop if you do wish to store it there. The wide, square bottom means that it’s seriously easy to clean (much easier than any blender I’ve ever used)–no more awkwardly trying to scrub at the blade. Finally, it features a super attractive, illuminated surface that lights up in response to touch and has a few programed cycles: smoothie, ice cream, whole juice, hot soup. You can use these cycles as a guide for blending, and as you blend, the touch screen will actually show you how many more seconds or minutes is advisable for the dish you’re making.

Blendtec Giveaway | The Full Helping

The folks at Blendtec also shared with me their special twister jar, which is designed for blending thicker mixtures, including homemade nut butters, nut cheeses, hummus, and single serve ice cream. I’m sure that some of you have experienced a common blender pitfall, which is that you have to add a lot of water to the machine to get hummus or cashew cheese blending. This can dilute the recipe more than is desirable. The twist jar allows you to grind denser foods without making them overly watery, and it’s a really handy tool to have around.

I’ll be offering a Blendtec Designer 625 and Twister Jar to one luck reader at the end of this post, so stay tuned for details!

But in the meantime, let’s get back to this soup business. As you can see, I topped the soup with a small scoop of seasoned black rice. It was a wonderful way to add texture (which is important when it comes to blended soups) and some extra satiety to the dish. You can definitely omit the rice from the recipe, but if you make it, you’ll probably be glad you did, and you’ll have some leftover rice for salads, bowls, and other meals. I’ve included instructions for both the rice and the soup.

Creamy butternut squash and five-spice soup | The Full Helping

Creamy Butternut Squash and Five-Spice Soup

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yields: 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

For the creamy butternut squash and five-spice soup:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery sticks chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese 5-Spice powder
  • Dash crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pounds peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup optional
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

For the black rice (optional, for adding to bowls):

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon mirin or 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar

Instructions

  • To make the soup, heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onions appear soft and clear. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Saute for another 2-3 minutes, adding a few tablespoons of water as needed to prevent the veggies from sticking or burning.
  • Stir in the five spice powder, red pepper, and salt, and give everything a good stir. Add the butternut squash, syrup, broth, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is very tender.
  • Transfer the soup to a blender in two batches and blend on high speed until it's completely smooth, being very careful to keep the lid on tight (hot liquids will spatter). Alternately, you can use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Transfer the blended soup back to your pot and stir in the coconut milk. Check the soup for seasoning and adjust spices to taste.
  • To make the black rice topping, bring 1 cup of black rice and 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan while your soup is simmering. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Fluff the rice, cover, and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Then, stir in the tamari, sesame oil, and mirin or rice vinegar. Serve the soup with about a quarter cup of rice topping per bowl.

Notes

Leftover soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days and can be frozen for up to one month. Leftover black rice will keep for up to three days.

Now that I’ve tried this squash and five-spice combination, I have a lot of other ideas for ways that I might pair them! But for now, I’m happy to have soup leftovers in my fridge and a few portions already tucked away in my freezer. The soup is perfect for this time of year–nourishing, creamy, warming–and I’m happy to have discovered it. (The leftover black rice is great in lunchbowls, too–you can see an example from my Instagram feed yesterday below!)

Lunch Bowl

Blendtec Designer 625 & Twister Jar Giveaway

Here are the details: Blendtec will be sending one lucky US or Canadian reader a Blendtec Designer 625. The package includes:

●Designer 625 motor base
●BPA-free jar with vented Gripper™ lid
●Blending 101 quick-start guide and recipes
●Twister jar with patented Twister lid

I’ll be running this giveaway for two weeks, until February 15, and you can enter to win below. Good luck! I can’t wait to share the gift of powerful blending 😉

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck with the giveaway, friends, and I hope you can all cozy up to a warm, vibrant bowl of soup very soon.

Butternut-squash-five-spice-soup-6

xo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    273 Comments
  1. So this recipe says it has 28 positive reviews but they are all just an answer to a question of what would they do if they won a Blentec you are giving away? Are there no actual reviews for the recipe? If there are not, you really should clear out all these “answers” from 2016 so one can get a real review.

  2. 5 stars
    I’d stick to something quick and easy and make a green kale smoothie! My poor old blender has been serving me well but green smoothies always end up too fiber-y (is that even a word?). 🙂

    I love the richness of flavours in this seemingly simple soup and the idea of adding black rice as a topping, by the way! How rich and delicious! xo

  3. I’ve made butternut squash soup but never with 5-spice. Would love to try this and see how smooth it gets.

  4. I would be making smoothies, one of my favorite on the go breakfasts to take to work with me!

  5. I’m so excited that this giveaway features a Blendtec! I’d definitely make more smoothies with ice if I won, because my current blender can’t really handle that much ice! 😀

  6. The first recipe I would make up is a smoothie with lots of greens and seeds. Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. Pina Coladas are a recipe, right? Because it’s been in the 90s here this week and a cool fruity cocktail sounds really good.

  8. I haven’t been having many smoothies lately in the winter, so I’d love to get back into smoothie making with a new Blendtec 🙂

  9. I would use the Blendtec to make a number of things, but especially green juices, purees, etc. I have gastroparesis and cannot eat veggies. This would improve my nutritional level for sure!!!

  10. I make smoothies in a blender but would love to make healthy soups esp since it’s so cold !!

  11. 5 stars
    I will make one of my HMR shakes with the Blendtec, if I’m the winner! Would love to win this!!!

  12. I went to the Blentec pinterest page, and I couldn’t BELIEVE how many delicious looking recipes they had – and how many categories, too!

    I would probably make the home made, all natural nutella. oh man. yum!

  13. 4 stars
    Good Golly Miss Molly , I make a blueberry smoothie to get well. Wow, prize blender is fab. & splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. 🙂

  14. I spend 4 months a year in Mexico and can’t seem to make refried beans the way they do. Part of the reason is because I don’t have a blender. So, I’ll start with this and go from there.

    Besos, Sarah
    Journeys of The Zoo

  15. The first thing I would make with my blender (if I win) is baby food for my 6 month old daughter! We are using a very poor quality blender and I want to make sure we are giving her the most nutritious food possible! 🙂

  16. The first thing I would do with this blender is to see how smooth it can make smoothies. And how well it blends blueberries

  17. I would love to be able to make silky smooth smoothies! My current blender does not work very well.

  18. The first thing I’d make is nut butter. My dad has lots of pecan trees so fresh (and freshly frozen) pecans are always on hand. I’ve never had pecan nut butter, but am anxious to make and try it.

  19. thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
    i’d first make some sort of bean dip probably. i dont have a food processor and it’s so hard in a blender. i love the big bottom base; cleaning is such a drag!

    also love the use of black rice here! 🙂

  20. I would make a smoothie! Would love a blendtec because my blender actually died the other day 🙁 and I am craving a smoothie!

  21. I have a small, not very powerful blender, so if I won the Blendtec, I’d have to really work it by making something my little guy would never be able to do. I’m thinking a yummy nut butter or hummus.

  22. 4 stars
    I’m loving this blog. The soup’s consistency looks great. I’d love to try making some green juice smoothies.

  23. I’d use it to make almond butter! I’ve been wanting to make my own but my current blender won’t cut it.

    PS- I love the soup recipe and I’ll make it even if I don’t win the blender! I went to China a few months ago and I’m addicted to their spices.

  24. Such a pretty vibrant soup. Can’t wait to recreate. Would do an 80’s break dance for a Blendtec. 🙂 And make a big mouth numbing batch of ‘nice cream’ and add mulberries and chopped nuts, drizzle with homemade Nutella. thank you!

  25. What a great review–I’ve been on the search/avoiding the search for a new blender for a while now; in the meantime I’ve been blending soups in my messy mini food processor.

  26. I would make an awesome smoothie! Or maybe ice cream. Or maybe a soup. 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. 4 stars
    I’ve recently started spiralizing vegetables as the base to my ‘noodle’ dishes – and the secret to making these a feel like a satisfying meal lies in the sauce. I would definitely make use of this gorgeous blender to prepare homemade sauces and vinaigrettes that would serve to really and truly impressive the most fussy palate!

  28. High vibe protein smoothies, herbal potions, veggie soups, mylks galore…the opportunities are endless!!

  29. Your soup looks delicious! I love the combination of butternut squash and apple so I would use them to make a soup first.

  30. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making vegan cheese – I’d love to use a Blendtec to start with a nice smooth nut puree!

  31. This soup looks amazing! I would either make a giant smoothie or some nice creamy soup like this one!

  32. This soup looks like a good place to start, but my most frequent uses of my current blender are smoothies, almond milk, and tahini-based dressings so any one of those might be first. I would be especially excited to see how my smoothies and milk would come out with a great blender like this!

  33. I can’t wait to make this. I do love Chinese 5 spice. I wouldn’t mind getting the blender either

  34. Nut butter would be a must-make, but I think I’d first try a cashew cream. I’ve been making a lot in my conventional blender, and would love to see how creamy and dreamy it gets in a high speed blender.

  35. First would be a strawberry/banana/avocado/chia seeds smoothie and then for lunch this delicious looking creamy butternut squash and five-spice soup!

  36. That soup looks delicious, it may be the first thing I make in the Blendtec. Perhaps a nice hummus or fresh salsa too. Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  37. I would love a great blender for my favorite breakfast: smoothie bowls. My blender tends to leave chunks…

  38. I can’t wait to make this exact soup if I win! I’ve also had my eye on making homemade almond butter for awhile.

  39. I would make everything with this! Soups, smoothies, banana bread. I used to babysit a family that had a blendtec and I used to love when the kids asked me to make them smoothies just because I could get to use it!

  40. The first recipe I’ll make using my new Blendtec Designer 625 will certainly be a rich green smoothie !!
    I’d Love to have it ^ ^*

  41. I would love to make something like hummus or nut butter. My Vitamin has tended to overheat and shut off when I’ve needed to grind something really sticky. This Blendtec has some really neat features!

  42. I would make some vanilla almond milk sweetened with some dates. 🙂 Thanks for the wonderful giveaway and soup recipe!

  43. 4 stars
    If the recipient of the giveaway, I would make my first recipe my morning rise-and-shine smoothie! Spinach, Oriya Organcis Superfood Protein Powder, Turmeric, Lemon Juice, Cinnamon (of choice), Mixed Organic Berries, Banana, Cherries, and Flax Protein + Milk!

  44. If I won the blendtec I would make almond butter and cashew cheese and lots of other things! Things my magic bullet can’t do…

  45. This soup sounds wonderful and I will definitely be giving this a try. If I were to win the Blendtec, I’m sure the first thing I try would be a smoothie since I make one everyday. Thanks!

  46. 5 stars
    I’ve relied on a Magic Bullet for too long… having a real-deal blender would be life-changing!

  47. I’d like to say something fancy like an awesome raw dessert or a cool hazelnut butter, but to be real, it would probably be banana nice cream. I eat that stuff like nobody’s business. Next up would be soup! I think it’s so cool that you can heat it up using just the blender!

  48. This sounds delicious. Love black rice but don’t eat it often enough. I will definitely make this soup with the blender. And all the cashew sauces!! 🙂

  49. I would make perfectly smooth hummus. I love the idea of the twister jar so you don’t have to stop to scrape down the sides while blending!

  50. Well, Valentine’s Day is coming up, and my husband’s favorite dessert is cheesecake! I would love to whip up a vegan cheesecake (and convince him that the vegan version is way way better than the original cheesecake.)

  51. The first thing I would make would definitely be some kind of cashew-based cheese sauce – I don’t have a blender powerful enough to do that right now, and I would love to try one!

  52. I can’t wait to try this soup! I loved your rustic cabbage, chickpea, and wild rice soup… I bet this one will be just as delicious!!

  53. I see so many recipes i want to try with Chinese 5 spice and have yet to do it…. also, i LOVE black rice

  54. It would have to be something thick that I’ve been unable to do with my old, cheap blender like nut butter.

  55. I would definitely make nut butter first! It would be a dream to be able to make that in a blender.

  56. Have been in love with that twisty jar since I first laid eyes on it. What an amazing invention. Want, want, want! I would probably finally make my own nut butter since I loathe cleaning out the mess from the vitamix or even the food processor. But I am a soup gal so no doubt the first thing I’d make with a new Blendtec would be some kick ass soup.

  57. I would try making cashew cream with unsoaked nuts, just to see if it really works and gets smooth and creamy! I usually soak them for hours first (or sometimes boil) before blending in my trusty KitchenAid.

  58. What a fun giveaway, Gena! I’m glad to hear your thoughts about the Blendtec versus a Vitamix. If I won, I’d make this soup, of course. It’s been so cold where I live, and my soup consumption has gone way up.

  59. I’d make soup, for sure.

    My last blender died in fantastic smoky manner, so I’d love to replace it with this!

  60. I’ll probably try my hand at making soup in the Blendtec. I’ve never owned a Vitamix or Blendtec before but have always been curious with all the things they can do.

  61. What a fabulous soup. I love the plating, too!

    The first recipe I’d make with this baby would likely be almond milk. I’d also love to try my hand at making chocolate and hazelnut butter with that fabulous twister jar!

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway, Gena!

  62. I’d love to try out the twist canister for maple almond chia seed butter – my favorite!

  63. I love really thick smoothies I can eat with a spoon so that would be the first thing I would make.

  64. 5 stars
    Lovely give away. I love your blog. I especially look forward to the Weekend Reading blog post. The first thing I would make would be banana nice cream. I haven’t eaten dairy ice cream in 15 years and like the idea of creamy cold nice cream in my mouth. Thanks!

  65. I know this is basic, but I’d love to finally make a kale smoothie that I don’t have to chew!

  66. 5 stars
    Looks wonderful so I just would make it easy on myself … I would make this gorgeous soup! Thank you for sharing all you do Gena <3 xo

  67. 5 stars
    Sounds delicious. Would also be good with pumpkin.

    Would love the Blendtec. Have a Nutribullet but not butters and very thick mixtures are always an issue

  68. Gena, this is beautiful! What stunning photos! I love the “yin yang” presentation of the orange soup and the black rice. You really outdid yourself. And the flavor combination looks delicious! Thanks. xo

  69. 5 stars
    WOWEE YOWZA!!! I’d first make a super delicious, mega-smooth banana green smoothie for the entire family with that humongous blending jar! Then I’d make some frozen banana ice cream in the twister jar! Thank you so much!!!

  70. I’m not big on squash soups as they are usually too sweet for my tastes. But with enough seasoning, they can be good.

  71. This soup sounds SO good! Soup would definitely be the first thing I would try. Thanks for the great recipe and giveaway!

  72. I’ve been curious about the blendtec as well! The twister jar sounds like a great solution to a common problem! My first recipe would probably be a green smoothie immediately followed by a cashew Alfredo sauce served over steamed broccoli and brown rice pasta. 🙂

  73. This soup sounds so delicious Gena! I’d definitely whip this up in the BlendTec, along with a host of smoothies and nut butters, should I win this amazing giveaway! Thank you for hosting!!

  74. So both my blender and smoothie maker have decided they deserve the death sentence and have hung themselves (I don’t think they want to make any more green smoothies or soups or oat flours). I have been craving a green smoothie for breakfast every morning now for the past week and what do I do to relieve myself? I go and visit your smoothie recipe page to salivate over al the wonderful concoctions there, especially the black and blue smoothie and the green kingdom avocado and banana ice cream. And now after the photos of your butternut squash soup (which I have a soft spot for and its my one soup weakness), I really feel as if I will go mad. The yummiest is just too much to keep only in my day and night dreams.

  75. Probably the first thing I would make would be the cashew cheeze sauce for my mac ‘n cheeze. My current blender does ok, but the sauce could definitely be smoother and thicker.
    Thanks for having many ways of entering. I don’t have instagram or a pinterest account and so it’s nice that you offer plenty of other options. 🙂

  76. I’ve been using a hand-blender to make a sunflower seed-miso-white bean sauce-ish concoction; I bet it would be even tastier (and less grainy) with a high-powered blender!

  77. 5 stars
    Wow, Gena, thank you! That soup just glows. I love the use of the rice with the five spice blend. That’s one of my favorite combos right now too. This giveaway is truly stellar. I’d have to say that the first thing I’d make in this gorgeous blender and the Twister jar would be a new smoothie recipe and my first homemade hummus recipe which I’ve yet to do! Thank you for hosting it!!

  78. My first recipe to make with the blender would probably be this soup, actually! Love this giveaway!

  79. 5 stars
    With the new blender I will do the best raw smoothies in New Zealand ….. with many greens and fruits like bananas, apricots, plums and nectarines, Chia seeds, nuts, raisins and ginger!

  80. I was wondering what to do with that butternut squash I have on the kitchen counter. All I need is the Blendtec to make it in!!!

  81. I love making smoothies and milkshakes, but I’d be super excited to try some things my cheap blender can’t do, like hummus and soups.

  82. My first recipe, statistically, would likely be an old favourite – some kind of smoothie featuring oats, banana, nut milks, and either cocoa or chai spices!

  83. I have been struggling with some challenging digestive issues and also need extra nutrition at this time. Those supermarket nutritional shakes get old fast and it is so hard to find vegan ones! Plus, they only come in one flavor: sweet! I can wait to whip up some hearty soups, hummus, dips, dahls, purees, pesto, pureed rice dishes (they are good, trust me!), guacamole, tapenade, chutneys, nut butters of all kinds (and nut butter blends!), tahini, cashew nooch “cheese” sauce, cashew cream, nut milks, and more!

  84. I would love to try this blender! I’ve been holding back on getting a vitamix because of the weight and storage issues. I would definitely try this soup first if I won!

  85. This looks so yummy. I love a warm soup, so comforting. I’d make my very own almond butter or cashew butter first.

  86. Sweet giveaway! I’ve been dying to recreate this smooth soup I had in Thailand — lots of pumpkin, coconut milk, lime, garlic, and chiles, among MANY other things. Sounds like a cousin to this Chinese-inspired squash soup! I don’t own a heavy-duty blender yet, though…this would be awesome!

  87. Hi Gena,

    What a great recipe and a great giveaway!!

    I would love to win this Blendtec blender and, although I do love a good soup, I think I’d first make a stack of Blender Pancakes!

    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Susan

  88. 5 stars
    The single serve icecream sounds great for my 8 year old. …and my diet! Plus I can make spa water in the summer with ginger and turmeric!

  89. I think I’d give hummus a try — I’ve never had good luck making it at home, but you make it sound like it might finally be possible!

  90. Does any body else pretend they are presenting a cooking show when doing anything in the blender? I know I’d sing come on let’s twist tonight when I read the words twisty jar

  91. My first recipe in the blender would be creamy smooth raw nut butter. I hear it can be done, but I’m skeptical … Can’t wait to be proven wrong!

  92. 5 stars
    The first recipe that I will make, using my new Blendtec Designer 625, is a Chocolate Almond Butter smoothie. Might sound boring, but it will be perfect and nourishing.

  93. For some reason, I always order butternut squash soup in restaurants but have never made it. Thanks for the recipe and giveaway!

  94. Soups are amazing when pureed in hihj speed blenders. Excited to enter for a chance to win this updated Blendtec!!

  95. Going to have make a smoothie. Mainly so I can tell the difference between my current (10+ year old) blender that I have to stop and start 20 times to stir everything by hand so it gets mixed up.

  96. I would definitely make some soup. I love the idea that you can just put the ingredients in the bowl and have it blend and heat it up at the same time! Hummus, too, for sure.

  97. I will definitely be trying out this soup recipe first! I love that you can make soup in a blender

  98. I’ve always wanted to try to make Baba Ganoush, so that would be my first recipe to attempt with the Blendtec Designer 625. Great, now I’m hungry…

  99. I’ve been so disappointed with my Ninja, which never manages to get pureed soups super smooth. I’d make this, and every other pureed soup in my arsenal, for every meal for months on end with the Blendtec! 🙂