This creamy soup is really the epitome of autumn warmth. The squash, the roasted vegetables, the spices, and roasted red pepper combine together beautifully and exude all that fall, Thanksgiving, and autumn harvests have to offer. It is extremely easy to make and the herbs and vegetables roasting will perfectly scent your home to set the mood.
I really believe in eating whole foods as natural and pure as possible. In doing so we get the most health benefits of the many miraculous unaltered foods presented to us in nature. We would all be a lot more better off and healthier if we did! The base of this soup is a beautiful butternut squash. Butternut squash are high in fiber, making this fruit a very heart friendly food source. It is also rich in antioxidants, so it is great for anti-inflammatory benefits to relieve ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. The vibrant orange color of the squash is evidence of its high carotenoid content, or beta carotene which our bodies converts into vitamin A. The squash is also very rich in potassium and vitamin C. As if all THAT isn’t enough, this lovely gourd is also high in folate, which is essential to immunity, the nervous system, and helps protect against birth defects. It is also rich in several B vitamins which are essential for regulating blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy energy balance! So really, we can all benefit from consuming this super food and this soup offers all these benefits and more from a variety of other seasonal vegetables! Read here for more about butternut squash benefits.
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These gorgeous gourds are all over the grocery stores this season, and if you have never really known what to use them for, well this is it right here! Basically you slice open the squash, drizzle it with olive oil, honey, anise, cinnamon and a few other spices and let it roast alongside some red bell peppers and onions. You puree all these fragrant roasted vegetables, add broth, some sauteed baby bellas, and a dash of cream and you have gotten yourself a creamy, beautiful, and heart warming bowl of gourmet soup!
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 c chopped onion
- 1/2 c sliced fennel
- 1 shallot sliced
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/4 c sliced red bell pepper
- 2 potatoes cubed (optional, for a thicker and heavier soup)
- 1 c sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp anise
- 1 tsp sage or rosemary
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1-2 c of chicken broth
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice open the butternut squash lengthwise (hot dog style) and drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, the honey, anise, rosemary or sage, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, salt, and pepper. Place face down onto a pan and arrange the red bell pepper, potatoes if using them, and 1/2 c of chopped onion beside the squash. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until the squash becomes fork tender.
- When the squash is done, remove from oven and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
- In a large pot, sauté the mushrooms and minced garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Once the mushrooms start to get soft, remove from pot and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pot and sauté the remaining onions, fennel, and shallot until translucent and caramelized. Add the roasted vegetables from the pan, scooping the butternut squash out of its skin. Add 1/2 of the sautéed mushrooms. Season well with salt and pepper and toss until combined.
- Pour 1 cup of broth over the vegetables. You may add more broth to achieve the desired thickness of soup. If you added potatoes you will need another cup of broth so that it is not too thick.
- Remove the pot from the heat and carefully puree with an immersion blender until smooth and creamy.
- Once the soup is smooth, add the remaining mushrooms and stir well with a wooden spoon. You will not need to puree the remaining mushrooms.
- Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream and stir. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for heat.
- Serve with your favorite crusty bread or croutons and enjoy!
- Nursing mothers: Sage decreases breast milk production, be careful how much you consume.