I procrastinated and stalled as long as possible this week, before sitting down to write this post. It’s not that I didn’t want to share today’s recipe with you, but I had other things going on in my life, and I struggled to sit down at my desk and type. So here I am, with my butt glued to my chair…
How has the end of December been going for you? Are you relaxing and enjoying the final days of 2018? For me, the end of December is often tough. The days are short, the sunlight is minimal, and the temperatures are cold. Thankfully, this year is proving to be a bit different - I’m loving the unseasonably warm weather and the sunny skies! I’ve been able to take long walks every day this week, which has given me plenty of time to reflect upon the year that is about to end and to think ahead to the new year. I’m not one who makes New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to have some goals in place. In the next few days, I’ll be journaling a bit more than usual, giving myself time and space to sketch out my thoughts, aspirations, and dreams for the next 12 months.
One thing that I’m committed to, regardless of the time of the year, is eating well. I know that I’ve written about this before, but I truly believe in the power of good food, that food is medicine, and that food has the power to heal. This week’s recipe, my Simply-Spiced Squash Soup, is the perfect example of a recipe that makes me feel good. It’s easy to prepare, a bowl of this soup fills me when I’m hungry, and it calms my nerves when they’re frazzled. The bright orange color is like a burst of sunshine on the cloudiest dreariest days of winter. And because the soup is made from ingredients that I always have on-hand in my pantry, I can make it whenever I need a little pick-me-up.
Simply-Spiced Squash Soup is the perfect soup for anytime of the day. I’ve been known to eat this soup for breakfast, with a little drizzle of maple syrup and some crushed walnuts on top. Later in the day, when I’m craving a more savory bowl, I’ll add some coconut cream and toasted seeds to my bowl, or even a heavy spoonful of my favorite dukkah. Over the summer, I found a jar of my beloved soup in the freezer; once thawed, I ate it straight from the jar, still cold. It was delicious, like a giant butternut squash smoothie!
As it is officially winter and soup season, as well as squash season, I strongly encourage you to make yourself a pot of this soup. Let me know how eating your first bowl makes you feel. I hope that you enjoy every last spoonful, just as I do!
Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy New Year! I’ll be back next week with a new recipe, inspired by a recent dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. Until then, get in the kitchen and make lots of food that makes you feel your best!
Wishing you a relaxing weekend, full of delicious food, health & wellness.
Simply-Spiced Squash Soup
Ingredients: (use organic whenever possible)
1 butternut squash, cut in half, seeds removed
2 T coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t turmeric
1 t curry powder
1 T maple syrup
1/2 t sea salt + additional, to taste
3 C vegetable broth
1/2 C coconut milk
To serve: coconut milk yogurt, raw pepitas, seeds, chopped herbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butternut squash, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45min-1hour, until the squash is fork-tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, scoop squash flesh from the peel into a bowl and discard the peel. Set aside until ready to use.
Heat coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions to the pot and sauté until softened and translucent, 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and curry powder, toasting the spices until aromatic, one minute. Add the butternut squash, maple syrup, 1/2 t sea salt and vegetable broth. Bring the pot to a boil, stir, cover and lower heat to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and uncover. Using an immersion blender, puree the contents of the pot until silky smooth. Add the coconut milk, stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding additional salt, if desired.
Reheat gently and serve, topped with a spoonful of coconut milk yogurt, raw pepitas, or your favorite seeds or chopped herbs.
recipe yields approximately 2 quarts of soup, 6 generous servings
Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 2 months