Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons sea salt (feel free to start with less and add to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sweet yellow onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces (approximately 1/2 medium onion)
4 cloves garlic, minced
32 ounces organic diced or crushed tomatoes or tomato puree (I love San Marzano, Whole Foods, and Jovial brands)
32 ounces low-sodium vegetable stock
6-ounce can organic tomato paste
2 tablespoons molasses (can start with 1 and add to taste)
12 ounces precut butternut squash from Trader Joe’s
1 loose cup fresh basil leaves with stems, plus more leaves for garnish (keeping the stems makes it easier to pull them out after cooking)
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds for garnish
In a small bowl, whisk together paprika, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a soup pot to medium low and add olive oil. When oil is lightly shimmering, add onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and translucent, around 6-8 minutes. Turn heat to low and add garlic and spices. Cook, stirring, another minute, until garlic is softened and fragrant.
Add remaining ingredients, stir to incorporate, and bring to a simmer (for me, this usually means turning the heat up a touch to back to medium low). Simmer for 30 minutes, or until butternut squash is fork-tender and the soup has thickened in consistency. Carefully use tongs or a spoon to pull basil leaves out. Discard.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or carefully blend in a blender or food processor—this usually requires 2 batches.
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh shredded basil, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and any other topping of choice.