Belly Cravings: It's Soup Weather!

The air is crisp and cool. The glorious fall colors have arrived. A kaleidoscope of beauty is everywhere you look, making even mundane daily errands a thing of joy. This is simply my favorite time of year!

And I know all too well, just as autumn arrives here in the blink of an eye, it exits just as quickly. Sadly, it's by far our shortest season so I'm relishing each and every moment. I've been enjoying long hikes in the woods, roller blading through the park, and harvesting seasonal veggies from the garden.

Yup, my backyard garden is still in full swing with squash, cauliflower, chard, cabbage, carrots, leeks, pumpkin, and kale. Late season fruits and veggies grace the fall table with color and variety. That beauty up top is a butternut squash, one of my favorites because of its sweet, full flavor.

There are over 25 species of pumpkin and squash, some of which have been cultivated for 9,000 years. All varieties are rich in beta-carotene and contain ample amounts of vitamin C.


A landslide of apples and pears also appear mid-September and don’t let up until winter. I recently made a trip to one of the local orchards, and came home with a nice fragrant selection of both sweet and tart varieties.

I don't know about you, but something happens internally for me when autumn arrives. As if on cue, my belly says, "soup, please!"  And that's when the wheels started turning: "Hmmm, butternut squash + apples + pears...sounds like soup to me."

So here's two different recipes for you to try, one savory, one sweet. I'll list the ingredients separately, but you can follow the same preparation instructions for both. Super simple and oh-so good. Enjoy!


Butternut Pear Soup
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2 carrots, cut into medallions
2 leeks, cleaned well and sliced
2 Bosc pears, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbsp cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil
6 C vegetable broth
1 sprig fresh thyme
1-inch ginger root, grated
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Butternut Apple Soup
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 C coconut milk (meat + water of 1 young coconut, blended)
2 Tbsp local raw honey (can substitute agave nectar)
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp cinnamon


Preparation:

1. With a large heavy knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise through the stem and remove the seeds.
2. Peel the rind from the squash with a vegetable peeler, and cut into small pieces.
3. Prepare the rest of your ingredients and set aside.
4. Using either a high-powered blender or a food processor, add liquids first, followed by the squash and remaining ingredients. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

If you do use a high-powered blender, you can continue blending until the soup warms. No Vitamix? No problem. Invest in a double boiler. It's great for warming foods slowly. Just stir often and don't let the soup boil – if you can stick your finger in without getting scalded, you're good to go. You could also pour your soup into a glass mason jar with a lid and submerge the jar in a bath of hot water to warm it up.

Serve in pre-warmed bowls and pair with a nice salad.

Looking for more seasonal recipes? I've compiled all of my Harvest-Inspired Autumn Recipes for you. Check them out and enjoy!

Tell me, when the weather gets cooler, what kind of food does your belly crave?


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