I love fall.
Here in LA, our seasons are
a bit a lot more subtle, but nevertheless still exist. I swear.
We might not have the color change like New England or the oodles of local apples, but we do have crisp nights (ok… not that crisp, but hey 40’s is crisp to us!).
I know it’s fall when the pine needles drop, the air gets painfully dry, and the Santa Ana winds kick up some mean wildfires.
The more I write, the less this sounds enjoyable, but just go with it.
Now that the heat waves are (hopefully) gone and the house gets cool in the evening, I’m more in the mood for warm foods, like soups, stews, and casseroles.
On that note and per the request for winter squash recipes from of one of my lovely nutrition clients, Joanna, I’m sharing my recipe for carrot ginger squash soup today. She is an incredible woman who worked with me in overcoming food sensitivities and quite literally cooked her way from chronic digestive issues to a happy tummy. Joanna, this one’s for you!
This carrot ginger squash soup is perfect for a cool night when you want something hearty and filling. The ginger gives it a great zing and helps settle an uneasy tummy or a sore throat. It’s definitely comfort-health food.
Like all my recipes, the measurements aren’t exact and you can play around with whatever ingredients you like. I used Delicata squash in this, but I think the more richly flavored Butternut or Kabocha squash would be an improvement. In hindsight, Delicata squash was probably the worst choice since it’s pretty bland, and this was still delicious. Trust me, any winter squash will work.
You’ll want to taste test this soup after pureeing and adjust your seasonings. I played around with salt, honey, and lemon juice right before serving to get it just right. All good cooks do it. Balancing the salt, sweet, and sour is central to any recipe tasting good.
One last note – save the seeds from the squash and roast like pumpkin seeds, tossed in salt, pepper, and coconut oil. They are a rich source of healthy fats, minerals like zinc and magnesium, and make a great snack.
Carrot Ginger Squash Soup
- 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 lb carrots, peeled, chopped
- 1 Delicata squash, peeled, seeded, chopped (about ½ pound)
- 1-2” piece fresh ginger, peeled, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (could use fresh cloves)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 quart homemade chicken stock (really worth the effort)
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- ½ cup heavy cream (organic, grassfed if possible)
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice or cider vinegar (to taste)
- Prep all veggies as above. One note on ginger – peel first, slice thin across the grain, then mince. This way you don’t get those tough ginger fibers in your soup. See the photo below to clarify.
- Using a heavy bottomed soup pot, brown onion in butter.
- Add remaining veggies, ginger, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and turmeric. Cook for ~5 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.
- Add chicken stock and honey. Bring to a simmer and cook until veggies are very soft (check by smashing with a spoon). Turn off heat.
- Carefully puree with an immersion blender (it’s hot!). If you’re fancy, you can strain the soup. I’m not, so a wayward chunk of carrot is fine by me.
- Add cream and lemon juice. Adjust seasonings to taste.
For those of you wondering if you can cut out the heavy cream to make this recipe “lighter”, don’t. The cream not only makes this soup delicious, but it helps you absorb all the fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants in the veggies. It makes it filling and keeps your skin smooth and supple during the cooler months.
Add the cream. Tell everyone “my nutritionist said so”.
If you don’t eat dairy for whatever reason, use whole fat coconut milk instead. If you’re freaked about adding either cream or coconut milk because they are high in saturated fat, read last week’s post.
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Until next week,