Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lemony Butternut Carrot Soup

Well, fall is officially back. I recognize it not only by the cooler temperatures and a handful of yellow leaves, but also by my burning desire to turn colorful vegetables into warm creamy soups. And this soup, eaten with a good chunk of crusty bread, is certainly a new favorite.

1 medium butternut squash
splash olive oil
1 onion, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic
1-2" ginger root, peeled and grated
1 lb carrots, roughly chopped
3-4 C veggie broth
2 C water
2 C unsweetened soy milk
juice from one orange
zest from one lemon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper

Chop the squash into quarters, deseed, and place in a baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water. Roast in a hot oven (450 degrees) for about an hour until squash is very tender. Remove from heat and let sit until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil. Add onions, whole garlic cloves, and grated ginger and saute until onions are fragrant and translucent. Add in carrots and stir well. Pour on veggie broth and water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow carrots to simmer about 30 minutes. When squash is cool enough to touch, peel off the skins, roughly chop squash, and toss into the soup. Simmer all an additional 10 minutes.

Using an immersion or standing blender, puree the soup and return to the pot over low heat. Stir in soy milk, juice from one orange, zest from one lemon, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer an additional five minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve hot topped with any combination of sliced scallions, chopped fresh parsley, yogurt, or spicy toasted squash seeds. I served mine with all four, and it was awesome!

This makes a wonderful, colorful meal when accompanied by some delicious crusty bread and a plate full of Cabbage, Carrot, Broccoli Slaw.

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