I teach cooking classes at Cancer Support Community in Bozeman, Montana, and one of the regular participants requested that I teach something with butternut squash. I started with this recipe but tried to make it more nutrient-dense by increasing the amounts of protein and healthy fat. Its medium-thick broth is hearty, sweet and spicy. The combination of basil, orange zest, and toasted walnuts gives it some zip. Altogether it takes less than a half-hour to prepare, which is pretty satisfying on a weeknight.

I think of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs as a blank canvas. Choose wisely, though. The Bozeman Co-Op carries locally grown chicken from the Lazy SR Ranch in Wilsall, Montana, which is delicious. If you can’t find locally grown chicken, consider one like SmartChicken that’s natural and raised without antibiotics or growth stimulants. Otherwise, choose your favorite chicken breasts and thighs.

Butternut squash has beta-carotene to thank for its beautiful orange-yellow color. In our bodies, beta-carotene converts to vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain eye health, other soft tissues, and healthy skin. I like to chop my own veggies, so I prefer to buy butternut squash whole, peel it like a potato, scoop out the seeds, and chop it into bite-sized pieces. However, to save time, look for chopped butternut squash in the fresh section of your grocery store. Frozen butternut squash would work just as well, just increase the cooking time a by 5 minutes or so and watch that it doesn’t get mushy.

This recipe makes six hearty entrée portions or ten appetizer portions. As with all soups and stews, it’s best when served piping hot. If you have leftovers, be gentle when re-heating – the squash is delicate and you want to preserve its texture. Too much heat and it’ll turn to mush. Add water or chicken stock if you need to thin it out a bit. Enjoy!

Moroccan Chicken & Butternut Squash Soup
Print Recipe
Chicken and butternut squash combined with Moroccan spices, orange zest and basil create a soup that is quick, delicious, and nutrient dense.
Servings Prep Time
6 30
Cook Time
20
Servings Prep Time
6 30
Cook Time
20
Moroccan Chicken & Butternut Squash Soup
Print Recipe
Chicken and butternut squash combined with Moroccan spices, orange zest and basil create a soup that is quick, delicious, and nutrient dense.
Servings Prep Time
6 30
Cook Time
20
Servings Prep Time
6 30
Cook Time
20
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add onion and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the chicken generously with sea salt and black pepper. Add chicken to the onions and cook for 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Add cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add butternut squash and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in chicken stock, scraping the pot to loosen the browned bits. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 8 minutes. While the soup is simmering, toast walnut halves for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. Stir in zucchini and cook for 5 minutes or until it’s is tender. Remove the pot from heat. Taste, add more salt as needed. Stir in chopped basil and orange rind. Garnish each bowl with thin strips of fresh basil and just-out-of-the-oven walnuts. Be sure to serve hot.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional Information: Calories 307, Total Fat 13g, Saturated fat 2g, Monounsaturated fat 3g, Polyunsaturated fat 1g, Protein 28g, Total Carbohydrate 21g, Sugars 7g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Cholesterol 67mg, Iron 19%, Sodium 2228 mg, Potassium 692 mg, Calcium 10%, Vitamin A 211%, Vitamin C 59%.

The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the US FDA.

Sources: Cooking Light, Livestrong.com

Share this Recipe