Oh, this soup!! I don't even know where to begin, really. Let's start with saying Fall is my favorite season. I just love when the air turns cool after all the heat and humidity of Summer in the Mid-West. Waking up in the morning to that crisp chill and the sound of crunching leaves always leaves me in the mood for a good, hearty, warming soup or chili. I've made this soup before but this version is hands-down the best and everyone in the family is crazy about it, which doesn't always happen.
Personally, the only thing that I tend to struggle with in the Fall is variety. All the seasonal Summer fruits and veggies are gone or the prices go through the roof. But with this soup, I packed the best of Fall into every bite. Using ingredients like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots and pumpkin, this soup is veggie and nutrient packed, super-satisfying and of course, pretty darn tasty.
It's such a magical thing when we eat something that is so delicious, almost decadent and then find out it's incredibly good for us. This soup is rich, creamy, has just the right amount of texture and the crunch from the roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) just takes it to the next level, seriously.
So why is it so good for us? Well, all those orange vegetables yield a soup loaded with vitamins A, B6, C and D3 as well as magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron. And that's just the beginning! This soup has tons of fiber, offers immune support and anti-inflammatory properties due to the high antioxidant content. It can even lower high blood pressure and protect against certain types of cancer, as well as flush toxins from your body!
To call it a Super-Food soup doesn't really do it justice. Anyway, after cooking and cooling a bit, I blended mine to the point of being almost but not quite completely smooth. I wanted just a bit of texture but not so much that anyone could detect exactly which vegetable were in it. Mostly because my husband insists he doesn't like sweet potatoes or any kind of squash, even though he eats both (unknowingly) all the time. We enjoyed this soup for two evening meals, along with a fresh green salad and some warm and crusty whole-grain bread.
Anyway, please let me know what you think of this soup if you try it and share your favorite Fall soup. And make sure to follow me on Twitter @GoForPlants!
Prep/Cook Time: 40 minutes plus cooling time before blending
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 celery hearts, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. cubed butternut squash
3 cups baby carrots, roughly chopped
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup pumpkin puree
2-2 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
3 cubes vegetable stock (bouillon)
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
Black pepper, to taste
Dash of white pepper, optional
5 cups water
½ cup full fat coconut milk (add at very end)
2 Tbs Earth Balance, optional (add at very end)
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds, 1/2 tsp olive oil, fine grain sea salt (optional)
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. And the diced onion and celery and saute until they soften up and start to become translucent, about 5-7 minutes. And the garlic and saute an additional two minutes.
2. Add the squash, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin and stir well. Toss in the bouillon cubes and slowly pour in the water. Add the all the seasonings and stir until well combined.
3. Bring the mixture to a slow simmer and allow to simmer until all the vegetables are tender, around 30 minutes. At this point, allow the soup to cool for a bit if you are going to use a regular blender. If you have an immersion blender, you can blend immediately. While the soup simmers, preheat the oven to 350 and line a small, rimmed baking sheet with parchement paper. Toss a 1/2 cup of raw pumpkin seeds with a 1/2 tsp of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and roast for 8-10 minutes if you are going to use the seeds.
4. Add the soup, in batches, into the pitcher of a blender and blend to desired consistency. Return to the soup pot and add the coconut milk and Earth Balance, if using. Simmer until nice and hot again and adjust seasonings if needed. Ladel into individual bowls, top with the roasted pepitas and enjoy!
Notes: This soup will last in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and freezes nicely for up to a month.