Homemade butternut squash soup with a kick

I can't believe it. My first homemade butternut squash creation. And it tasted SO good!

Throughout 3.5 hours of riding with Karel this morning (aka suffering with beautiful views), I was thinking about food. This is nothing abnormal for me because most of my delicious creations come to me while training. I was thinking that I just had to do something with the butternut squash that I bought at Trader Joe's a few days ago. I bought the squash with every intention to make butternut squash soup but I was a bit nervous as this soup would require multiple steps and well, I'm kinda a one-skillet (or I love my oven) type of cook.

Karel and I had a lot of work to do this afternoon for Trimarni which kept us super busy but as the day winded down, it was time for workout #2. 

After Karel and I finished our last workout of the day (a 35 minute form focused yet hilly run around downtown Greenville around 5;30pm), it was time. 

Time to get busy in my favorite place - my kitchen!

Although this soup does require a few extra steps, I know that you will absolutely LOVE this soup.
It's gotta a kick if you like that style of food but you can certainly remove the pepper to take it down a notch. 

Looking forward to my run and swim tomorrow....I wonder what creation I will dream-up during my workout???

Homemade butternut squash soup 
.....with a kick

1 small butternut squash
Olive oil
1 small Hungarian wax pepper - chopped (remove if you want less spicy)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup low sodium vegetable (vegetarian) stock
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used light, canned)
1-2 tsp tumeric
Cracked pepper and salt - to taste

1. Slice butternut squash in half (long-ways) and scoop out seeds and strings. With skin side down, bake for 40-50 minutes at 375 degrees. (you can do this ahead of time, anytime during the day. You can also cut squash into large chunks and cook in slow cooker by itself for 6 hours or until soft)

2. In medium soup pot on medium heat, sauté onions and pepper until golden brown (be careful if you touch the pepper and then touch your face as it will sting - lesson learned). 

3. With heat on medium, add vegetable stock and stir. Then add in the coconut milk and stir.
4. Scoop out squash and with clean hands, crumble into the stock mixture. Add tumeric.
5. Use a wooden spoon to mix for 2-3 minutes until squash is combined. If your soup looks chunky you can use a potato masher to slowly break up the squash.
Add salt/pepper to taste.
6. After 5-8 minutes of cooking, remove squash mixture from the pot and turn off heat. Pour the squash slowly into a blender. Blend on low speed until smooth (you may need to stop the blender once or twice to mix it up to make sure it is evenly blended).

7. Pour soup from blender back into the pot and then heat once more on low-medium heat for a few minutes until hot or warm (to your liking). Taste once more for any additional salt/pepper.