Sunday, October 26, 2014

Do you Crave more SWEETNESS AND WARMTH? Try This.

Falling For Leaves, Gourds & Soup

This is my favorite time of year!

The vivid burnt orange, fiery red and golden hues that are abundant in both the leaves and vegetables bring a FESTIVE autumn SPIRIT that awaken my desire for butternut squash soup, pumpkin pie and roasted mixed squash.

These deep orange and yellow hues point to plant compounds called carotenoids (you can remember this because carrots are famous for their beta-carotene, a specific carotenoid).

Yellow and orange veggies support growth and development, eye health and eventually provide vitamin A.

But, don't be fooled by their fancy pants nature! (you don't have to think like a nutritionist to reap the benefits)

Why?  Because orange veggies have

For one, they naturally contain sugars that can SATISFY not only your taste buds, but can also remind you to celebrate the SWEETNESS in other areas of your life.

These richly colored veggies also are typically perfect for the cooler, dryer months because they provide WARMTH and MOISTURE to the body. 

In honor of this vibrant season, I’m sharing my recipe for Warming Butternut Squash Soup.

It has the perfect balance of flavors.  Squash and apples add sweetness, the spices have a mix of sweetness, pungency and smokiness and the last minute hit of vinegar lends (well of course) acidity. Yum, yum.

Also, a dash of cream goes a LONG way to providing just a little extra special velvety texture and creaminess (Is your mouth watering?).

 Celebrate seasonal and local autumn veggies with me, and dive into a steaming hot bowl of my Spiced Butternut Squash Soup!

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW to tell me YOUR favorite autumn dish.


Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
Flavorful, aromatic, and warming, this soup is perfect for a cold winter day.  The sweetness of the cinnamon pairs well with the natural sweetness of the squash and apple, while the cumin adds a smoky depth and the cayenne gives it a spicy kick.   Top it all off with some floral oregano and it’s a spice masterpiece that will make your taste buds sing.  Enjoy with “Sage Butter Lentils” and “Winter Braised Greens” for a complete meal. 

Preparation time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: 5 cups

1 tablespoon organic pastured butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion (about 2 cups)
4 cups frozen diced butternut squash (2 10-ounce bags)
1 small apple (about 1 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 -1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of turmeric
1½ -2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup sherry wine
3-4 cups Vegetable broth
¼ cup heavy cream
2-3 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar or golden balsamic vinegar
Fresh oregano for garnish

Cultured sour cream for garnish (Nancy’s), optional

Heat a 4-quart stainless steel stockpot over medium heat for about a minute.
Add butter and oil and let it spread and coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions and sauté until soft and golden for about 5-10 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Add squash, toss to coat and sauté until golden for about 5 minutes, only stirring occasionally. Add apple and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, turmeric and salt and stir vegetables to coat and continue sautéing for about 2 minutes. Add wine to deglaze and pick up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add broth, cover and bring to a simmer.  Simmer until vegetables soften and flavors merry, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Turn off heat, stir in cream and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender until texture is velvety. Stir in vinegar and check for salt.  Serve each bowl with oregano and a dollop of sour cream.

Tip: To make this recipe dairy free, simply substitute cream with canned coconut milk.

Variation: Substitute frozen squash with 2-3 cups of fresh cubed seasonal squash

Copyright 2010, S. Sammartino, Original recipe

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