Orange you glad it’s fall? Ha, ha! That one’s old, huh? Fall is some kind of elixir to me. It just has magic powers to rejuvenate, inspire, and soothe. I’m sure I’m not alone, as most people you ask seem to name fall as their favorite season. Each year as soon as the life-sucking humidity starts to waft away and the mornings are chilly enough to need a sweater, I drag out the indoor and outdoor fall decorations. I’ve always loved bright colors, so the deep orange pumpkins, yellow, garnet, and pink mums, and multi-colored Indian corn make me happy. The Indian corn makes rats happy, too, apparently. When I put my Indian corn door arrangement in the garage for storage a couple years ago, I went to get it out at the first sign of fall, only to find the beautiful Indian corn stripped to the cob. The beautiful mums and raffia bow now sat atop corn cobs that looked like they’d experienced a withering pestilence – not a kernel left on those things. We could only assume rats did the job, unless it was the copperhead my husband found living in the garage. But I don’t think copperheads eat corn, or do they? Well, that’s research for another day, and alas, I digress. I don’t want you to associate rats and copperheads with fall! : ) Even though the temperatures dropping below eighty mean I will soon be in need of hypothermic revival, I revel in the colors, activities, and foods of fall – especially the food. Fall means fixing all things pumpkin and apple and squash and the warm spices that go with them.
Butternut squash and pumpkin are fantastically healthful. Their deep orange color reflects their potent beta carotene content, which the body converts to vitamin A. Foods rich in beta carotene offer protection against developing certain cancers, aid in preventing heart disease, provide anti-aging benefits, and even promote the health of skin and hair. In addition to having a high fiber content, these great gourds of goodness are rich in vitamin C, E, and the B-complex vitamins, and are a wonderful source of potassium and magnesium.
This soup is elixir, too. It’s like an IV of vitamins and minerals going straight down the ol’ hatch rather than in a vein, and it’s positively delicious! My husband declared it perfection, and I declare my skin was glowing the next day! Now that it’s fall and we can actually breathe outside, go grab yourself some gourds and get going on this soup. And remember, don’t store your Indian corn in the garage!
- 1 butternut squash, roasted* (see note above)
- 1 16 oz. container pureed pumpkin (be sure it's pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie puree)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 32 oz. container vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp. salt
- Few grinds of white pepper
- 1 tsp. Herbamare
- 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp. avocado oil
- Optional garnishes: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, sourdough croutons, green onions
- Heat avocado oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven.
- Sautee onions in oil until tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add garlic and tomato paste and stir for a minute more until garlic is just fragrant.
- Scoop flesh out of roasted butternut squash and add to the pot, along with the pumpkin puree. Add broth, water, salt, pepper, Herbamare, coriander, thyme, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Remove thyme sprigs, pulling the leaves off and returning leaves to soup if they haven't fallen off the stem already.
- Transfer soup to blender in batches and puree.
- Return pureed soup to pot and heat until warmed through.
- Adjust seasonings to taste and garnish as desired. Serve and enjoy!