Last weekend we finally had some Fall-like weather – chilly, rainy, overcast. Not that I’ve been looking forward to it, but it’s inevitable. I guess I can look forward to wearing some of my favorite boots and sweaters and cooking yummy soups and stews that are a bit too much for the warm seasons. I figured I’ll start today, since a) hubby was having some mystery stomach ailment and needed something soothing and nourishing for his belly and b) I had two squash I harvested from my garden that were too small to eat on their own, and I wanted to do something interesting with them. I should mention that while the tag on the original plant I bought said “squash,” what emerged from the big bushy plant ended up looking suspiciously like little Cinderella pumpkins.
But I am going to call it squash, and mixed with some other colorful veggies that Fall is known for, it made a pretty darn good soup-purée (суп–пюре из овощей). Aside from being really healthy and yummy, for being vegetarian, it was quite hearty and filling. Brian finished his whole bowl despite not being able to eat much of anything all day, and called it “pumpkin pie soup.”
This recipe made enough for four. You will need:
2 small squash (any kind will do)
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 carrots, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon each of: cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, grated fresh ginger
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon agave syrup (other alternatives can be pure maple syrup or brown sugar).
Salt to taste
4 cups water (you can add more water if you prefer your soup more liquid)
I halved and baked my squash ahead of time at 365F for about a half an hour, but only because it was so dense that there was no way I could safely cut it into chunks. Also, I think baking added to the depth of flavor.
While the squash was baking, I sautéed the onion in coconut oil, then added the garlic and the carrots. When the onion and carrots started to soften, I threw in the sweet potato chunks, water, salt and agave syrup, and brought to a boil. Now take out the squash, scoop out the baked flesh, chop into chunks and add to the soup, along with all seasonings BUT leave the lemon zest and thyme until the last minute.
When all of the ingredients are soft, blend the soup well using a food processor or an immersion blender (I prefer the latter as it makes less mess to clean up). Garnish with more lemon zest and thyme sprigs.
Other than the benefits of eating a vegetarian meal every now and then, this soup in particular is really loaded with all kinds of healthy ingredients.
Squash, sweet potato, carrots – Beta-Carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein, fiber.
Onion and garlic – antiseptic, anti-viral.
Cinnamon, turmeric – anti-inflammatory.
Coconut oil – never mind the delicious nutty but tropical flavor, the benefits of coconut oil are so vast that I will just let Dr. Oz tell you about them. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/surprising-health-benefits-coconut-oil