Butternut squash soup

Let’s check out some carbon footprint calculations for three different butternut squash recipes, two of which have an impressively low carbon footprint.  The main ingredient in all of them, butternut squash, has a particular low carbon footprint, with a CO2-eq conversion factor of 0.09 g CO2-eq / g squash.

1) The first recipe, by Chef Leslie Durso, is called Creamy Corn and Butternut Squash Soup.  The Chef describes it as her “go to” butternut squash recipe.

You’ll find the photo and recipe here.

Per serving (the recipe makes 4), this dish has 285 calories and 7.1 grams of protein.  The carbon footprint is 98 g CO2-eq per serving, with the corn cobs and the large squash each contributing roughly half of the footprint.

2) The second recipe, also by Chef Leslie Durso, has apple and sweet potato along with the butternut squash.  She calls it Perfect Butternut Squash Soup.

You can find the photo and recipe here.

If we assume 6 servings (recipe says 6-8), each serving has 167 kcal and 3.2 grams of protein.  The carbon footprint is 61 g CO2-eq per serving, this time with the apples and the squash each contributing close to half.

3) For comparison, let’s look at the footprint of a butternut squash soup made more traditionally with cream and butter.

Each serving has 281 calories and 2.9 grams of protein.

The footprint of this soup is now 255 g CO2-eq per serving, with 77% of that coming from the 0.5 T of butter and 2 T heavy cream per serving.  These ingredients contribute 83 and 113 g CO2-eq per serving, respectively, due to the high CO2-eq conversion factors of 11.9 g CO2-eq / g butter and 3.8 g CO2-eq / g heavy cream.

Butternut squash is really healthy, with lots of Vit A.  Enjoy your soup!

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