If you’re looking for a hearty and delicious winter soup than this is it! We’ve got carrots, golden beets, butternut squash, and pumpkin melting together in this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink of root vegetable goodness.
Thanks to the latest CSA delivery I had to figure out how to use the golden beets and butternut squash before they went bad. I would have just roasted them and called it a day, but I had this idea that making a pureed soup would justify buying an immersion blender!
“How often do we need to puree things in the pot?” he asked. “Why can’t you just use the blender?”
Well, I’m still working on my retort, but in the meantime, this thick and creamy soup uses a bunch of orange-colored root vegetables and it was a big success.
- 1 tblsp coconut oil
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 large carrots peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 whole butternut squash cut down the middle, skin on, seeds cleaned out.
- 3 golden beets
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (I used fresh but canned will work too)
- 1 can (14.5 oz) low sodium chicken broth (can use veggie broth if you’re a vegetarian)
- ½ tsp Indian curry powder
- 1 or 2 dashes of cayenne pepper (depends on how much heat you like)
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp packed fresh orange zest
- 1 tblsp honey
- ¼ cup almond milk
- goat cheese (how every much you like)
- Ciabatta bread (can use any crusty bread you like….baguette is fine too)
Heat the oven to 380 ° F.
Place both halves of the butternut squash face down in a rimmed baking sheet with a quarter inch of water. Make sure to lift the squash halves up to let some of the water run underneath.
Cut the stems off the beets and rinse/scrub them clean. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper put them in a pouch of aluminum foil synched tightly.
Place both the squash and the pouch of beets on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 40-50 mins or until the squash skins are wrinkling and developing brown spots. Depending on how large your beets are, they will most likely be done a few minutes before the squash.
Heat the coconut oil in a large pot on medium high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering add the carrots and onions.
Add salt and pepper to taste and sauté them for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Stir for another minute until you can smell the garlic and then add the cinnamon, curry powder and cayenne pepper if you’re using it. Heat the spices for about 30 seconds so the flavors develop, but be careful not to let them burn. Then add the pumpkin puree, orange zest, honey and chicken broth (can use veggie broth if you’re a vegetarian) and turn the heat down to medium. Cover the pot and let all the flavors meld while you work on the squash and beets.
When the beets and squash are soft and tender you’re going to add them to the pot. The squash can be scrapped out of the skins and tossed into the pot. With a paper towel, rub the skins and stems off the beets revealing the pristine golden inside. Roughly chop them up and add them to the pot too.
Puree everything in the pot with an emersion blender. Or if you don’t have one (I know, bummer right?) then you can work in batches and just puree everything in a regular standing blender. Add the almond milk to assist with the blending and add a little more or less depending on how thick you like your soup.
Goat cheese crostini
Slice the bread into 1 inch thick slices and place them on a baking sheet. I used green onion and garlic ciabatta bread from the La Boulange Bakery around the corner. Brush the top side with a little olive oil and put them under the broiler for a few minutes until golden and crispy.
I don’t like my bread too crunchy because I think it hurts my gums….you could certainly put a little more char on these breads if you want more crunchy goodness.
Before serving the soup, drizzle the top with a good tasting olive oil, and spread how every much goat cheese you want on the toasted bread, placing two pieces in the center of each bowl of soup. I garnished this with some roughly chopped celery stalk leaves (parsley or chives work well too) and that’s it!
- Use white pepper instead of freshly ground black pepper if you don’t want to see black flecks in the final product.
- I used Indian curry powder in this dish, but a Thai curry powder or any curry powder for that matter will work. Just know that some curry powders have a lot more spicy heat than others so you may or may not want to use more or less cayenne pepper to achieve your desired flavor profile.
- The goat cheese offers a nice cool sweet and sour counter to the hot spicy soup, but not everyone likes goat cheese. So consider using a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche to achieve the same thing.
- If you don’t want to use honey for a slight sweetness consider using some agave nectar, molasses, or even brown sugar. You’ll want a touch of sweetness to bring out the cinnamon notes.
- And instead of almond milk, which is what I had in the fridge at the time I was concocting this, you can use non-fat milk, full fat milk, 2%, half and half, heavy cream or even soy milk. The dairy (or non-dairy) addition is to add a creaminess to the soup and also aid in the pureeing process.
- Oh, and you don’t have to use coconut oil if you don’t want to. It does have a slight taste to it regardless of what others might say, I happen to think it works well with this dish, but you can easily start with vegetable oil or olive oil and be just fine.