Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall in a Soup

It's official: summer is over.  How do I know this?  For the first time, I had to wear sneakers instead of flip-flops when walking for my morning coffee today.  I've therefore decided it is time to embrace the season in all of its gourd-y, amber-hued glory and get into some fall-inspired cooking.  I also feel that our household is fighting off the first of the seasonal bugs that are sure to terrorize us again this flu season (I'm feeling rundown, lil' J had a fever in the beginning of the week), and so some highly nutritious comfort food is in order. Nothing comforts me like soup, and the season is finally here.

I spent an hour this afternoon whipping up this fall-inspired soup for our dinner. The ingredients in this recipe support the immune system and are exceptionally nourishing. The squash, garlic, ginger, onions, and coconut milk together have a warming effect on the body, particularly the digestive system, and deliver a boost in energy.  Apples offer fiber, and chicken broth is Jewish Penicillin (although veggie broth would work just as well). Best of all, this soup required very little in the way of preparation: just a bit of roasting, sauteing and pureeing, and we had a delicious and healthy homemade dinner ready to go.  Try this soup; it will cure what ails you!

Autumnal Soup
Serves 8
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 sweet onion, peeled and halved
4 tablespoons fresh ginger root, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 apple (I used a Gala, but almost any kind would do), peeled, cored and chopped
1 can regular or light coconut milk
4 cups chicken or veggie broth
Salt, white pepper, cinnamon and paprika to taste (start with about a half-teaspoon of each and adjust to your preference)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Put the halved squash and onion on a baking sheet, and rub both with a tablespoon of olive oil.  Roast until soft and fragrant, about 40 minutes.  Allow to cool, then remove the peel on the squash and chop both into rough chunks.
2) In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and ginger and saute, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
Add the red onion and continue to saute another 5 minutes.  Add the apple and saute another 5 minutes.  Finally, throw in the chunks of squash and sweet onion and stir well.
3) Add the coconut milk and broth, increase the heat, and allow the pot to gently simmer for about 20 minutes, until the apples are soft.  Stir in the spices.
4) Allow the soup to cool a bit, and then blend until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender or food processor.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Note:  I think I've hit photography rock bottom with this post.  Not only was it a very shadow-y time of day when I was cooking, but the little guy was in a snit and all over me.  It is amazing I got this meal cooked, much less photographed any of it.  I wish I had staged a pretty photo of the finished project in a lovely pottery bowl, but we're all going to have to live with a gurgling pot photo, complete with splatters on the side of the pot from the blending process.  I think this is the food photography equivalent of being caught by the paparazzi without your make up on.  Whatever.  I got a hot meal on the table and shared it with all of you  to boot and that is all that matters, right?  Happy Fall!  I'm off to collapse on the couch. 


  1. Two questions:
    1) At what point do you add the squash and the sweet onion?
    2) How many servings would you say this made?
    Yes, I'm that dependent on recipes.
    Is that the equivalent of being caught wearing the same dress as someone else and losing the "who wore it better" competition?

  2. I know what I'll be making on Sunday! Yum.

  3. Abs -- I've made the edits to explain your questions. Thanks for catching those mistakes -- that is what I get for posting when I am delirious-exhausted. :)