This moment. It’s early October. Pumpkins and squashes of infinite shapes, sizes, colours and patterns are popping up at every corner and every market. This moment of the year is one of my favourites (ok, I may have many favorite moments).
Since the first day of October, recipe ideas keep on emerging in my head at every minute and hour of the day or night. Fall’s colours, flavours and overall beauty are incredibly inspiring. I’m drooling at the thought of the beautiful things I’m going to make with all these pretty pumpkins and squashes. They are wonderful ingredients to work with because they can be used in so many different ways. Soups, salads, patties, desserts, cookies, muffins, granolas. Possibilities are endless! I could seriously eat them every single day up until Christmas, in all ways possible.
Of all the squashes, butternut is my favorite. I mean, anything that contains the word “butter” must be delicious, right? Butternut squash is comforting and velvety. Its soft and sweet flavour goes well with pretty much anything.
So my favorite squash made its way into a new fall favorite of mine: this soup. This soup is everything your body is probably craving at this time of the year. It’s warm, comforting, soothing. It has the wonderful creaminess of the butternut squash, the powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric, and the softness of coconut milk. It’s topped with lightly toasted almonds and crispy sage leaves that truly bring the dish to the next level.
Butternut squash is fabulous not only for its amazing taste and texture, but also for its wonderful nutritional properties. Its deep orange color is due to its high beta-carotene content, which is converted in the body into vitamin A. Vitamin A is a essential for a healthy skin and a good vision. It’s a powerful antioxidant and it helps fight infections and diseases. Butternut squash is also a great anti-inflammatory and it promotes a strong immune system. It’s perfect to strengthen our body’s defences and prepare us for the colder days ahead. When choosing a squash, go for one that’s heavier; its flesh will be tastier.
Notes on the recipe: The soup is delicious on its own, but I highly recommend serving it with the crispy sage and toasted almonds. They complement the flavours perfectly, bring a nice crunch and make it a more complete and satisfying meal. Be careful when using turmeric as it easily stains hands and countertops! This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium butternut squash, halved, deseeded and cut into cubes (about 10 cups)
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (reserve a few tablespoons for topping)
- 2½ cups water (or more, to cover)
- A knob of coconut oil
- 12-15 sage leaves
- ⅓ cup toasted chopped almonds*
- Heat a knob of coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Carefully add sage leaves into the pan and fry for about 30-45 seconds, until the leaves are dark and crispy. Remove from heat and place on a piece of paper towel to remove excess oil. Set aside.
- Heat a knob of coconut oil in a very large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until soften. Add garlic, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika and sea salt and stir. Then add the squash, coconut milk (reserve a few tablespoons for topping) and water (add enough water to cover).
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until the squash is tender and a fork can easily peak through, about 30 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the soup into your blender and blend until you get a smooth, creamy puree. Alternatively, you can puree using a hand blender if you have one.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed, until it's perfect.
- To serve, pour the soup into bowls and using a spoon, drizzle with the remaining coconut milk. Top with toasted almonds and a few fried sage leaves. Enjoy immediately.
You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.