Ah, fall. When the weather cools, the leaves turn beautiful shades of yellow and orange, thoughts turn toward the holidays, and a hot bowl of soup is just the thing to warm you up.
Um, not so much. This is La Quinta, remember? In the Southern California desert? Where it is currently (let me check) 92 degrees outside as I write this. And falling leaves? We’re surrounded by palms and desert shrubs, and the one deciduous tree that I have in my yard doesn’t lose its leaves until mid-January. Seemingly days before it starts to grow new ones.
That doesn’t mean thoughts don’t turn toward the holidays or that the joys of Autumn eating are totally ignored. I was actually at the store, buying a butternut squash and sweet potatoes, with the idea of roasting them. As I was checking out, I heard a woman in another line say one word, soup, and a light bulb lit in (over?) my head.
Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 small red pepper, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1½ cup butternut squash, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1½ cup sweet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 3 cups water
- ½ cup coconut (for Paleo) or soy creamer
- crushed red pepper (optional)
- Heat the oil over medium heat.
- Cook the onion and red pepper until the onion is soft (about 4 minutes)
- Add the garlic, ginger, squash, and sweet potato, and cook until fragrant, about 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the squash and sweet potato are tender.
- Remove from the heat.
- If you use a blender:
- Blend the soup in two batches. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the squash and sweet potato into the blender. Pour ¼ cup of the creamer and about ½ cup of the broth into the blender (be careful, it is hot).
- Keep the center piece of the lid off and cover with a dish towel. Blend until smooth, adding more broth if necessary for a creamy texture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour into a saucepan and blend the other half of the soup.
- Add to the saucepan and reheat to a low boil.
- Garnish with parsley and crushed red pepper if desired.
- If using an immersion blender:
- Spoon the sweet potato/squash mixture into another pan using a slotted spoon. Add the creamer, 1 cup of broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding more broth if necessary.
- Serve as above.
The red pepper added just a little bite to the smooth sweet creaminess of the squash and sweet potato. I served it with a salad and it made a perfect and light dinner. It is cool enough in the evening that I could take a sip of soup, close my eyes, and imagine that soon it will be Thanksgiving. I just have to remember to turn off the air conditioner first.
So, how cool is it where you live? What is your favorite soup?