Are you the kind of person who puts your Christmas Tree up before or after Thanksgiving?
Why all the rush? I am one who loves to cherish each holiday as it comes along. I also love to cherish the bounty of harvest vegetables in the market.
The market has so many pumpkins, squash, and root vegetables that it makes your heart sing. I made a warming and nourishing roasted butternut and ginger carrot soup filled with aromatic spices and creamy coconut milk topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and homemade seasoned croutons. The caramelized onions and sauteed apple sweeten the soup and add another dimension to this rich and flavorful soup. A delicious gluten-free and lactose free alternative and perfect as a starter for a Thanksgiving meal. This soup is a snap to put together and if you make it in advance it even tastes better once the flavors have a chance to mingle.
I am sure a few of you will have out-of-town guests/family staying with you for a few days over the holidays and this is a perfect make ahead soup. I roasted my butternut squash and carrots as this gave the soup a little added sweetness and depth of flavor. I even tried to roast my ginger to see the results and I can tell you that is a science experiment not worth repeating. Roasting ginger turns it really potent and bitter. Freshly grated ginger is certainly the way to go in this recipe.
If you are in a pinch and need to put a soup together in less than 15 minutes, then you can use frozen butternut squash and carrots and I won’t tell a soul. Your family will never know the difference as this soup has so many flavors and spices going on they will busy tasting the soup and munching on the crunchy toppings.
The weather has been a little bit damp and cool, even in Hong Kong. There is even snow in some places like in Canada. I just shutter thinking about that “white stuff” falling on to the trees. I am Michigander, used to shoveling off my roof back home in the States, but my blood has grown very thin living here in Asia. This heartwarming soup has lots of ginger and spices to warm you from the inside out.
We have a lot to be thankful for this season. I know that this year has been a very difficult time for many. Many have lost their homes, their jobs, their family members and have had poor health but this is the time we have to look for the positives in life. I think that sometimes when you have been defeated and can’t go any further down than you have to get up and get moving up and forward as this is the only place you can go.
When life has been challenging, I find that I begin to have a renewed appreciation for all of the things I took for granted. I like to surround myself with positive and upbeat people and take a moment to reflect on the positive things in my life.
I am very thankful to have a loving family and supportive friends. I am also very thankful to know so many talented cooks and inspirational bloggers.
Are you still thinking about a coordinating a dinner plan for your Thanksgiving meal? Then please head on over to Hotly spiced for some fun ideas for turkey stuffings http://hotlyspiced.com/three-turkey-stuffings/. My dad also makes a super stuffing that all your meat lovers in your family will adore, check the recipe out at http://bamskitchen.com/sides/pasta-rice-stuffing/grandpas-secret-stuffing/or how about a fun spin on an old favourite pecan pie dessert by the Domestic Rebel, http://wishesndishes.com/pecan-pie-bark/
Are you looking for a new way to dress up those boring sweet potatoes? Look no further as With a Spin will have you sorted with this unique sweet potato recipe, http://www.withaspin.com/2013/11/22/sweet-potato-au-gratin-with-panch-foron/
For those of you that are already knee-deep in snow, don’t celebrate thanksgiving, or just need a quick and easy festive dessert then head on over to Just a Smidge for her decadent snowberries at http://justasmidgen.com/2013/11/16/snowberries-white-chocolate-dipped-strawberries/
With so many things to be thankful for in our lives, please take a moment to enjoy the small pleasures or at least a heartwarming bowl of roasted butternut and carrot ginger soup.
Warming and nourishing roasted butternut and ginger carrot soup filled with aromatic spices and creamy coconut milk topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and homemade seasoned croutons.
- olive oil - 1 tablespoon
- butternut squash - 1/2 whole cut lengthwise or about 2 pounds.
- Carrot - 1 large or about 1 cup sliced
- olive oil - 2 tablespoon
- apple - 1 whole peeled and sliced(I used a McIntosh as that is what I had in my crisper but use what ever kind of cooking apple suites your fancy)
- onion - 1/2 small onion or about 1/2 cup peeled and chopped
- vegetable broth (or chicken broth) - 1 cup
- ginger - 1 teaspoon freshly grated
- cinnamen - 1 teaspoon ground
- cardamon - 1/2 teaspoon ground
- coconut milk - 3/4 cup (if you have an aversion to coconuts like my eldest sister just exchange with almond milk or cream, milk or whatever you fancy)
- salt and pepper - to taste
- pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup toasted-optional
- homemade seasoned croutons - 1/2 cup- optional (ingredients found in the instructions below)
- coconut milk - 1/8 cup to garnish- optional
Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F or 190 degrees Celsius.
Step 2: OPTIONAL: In a small pan roast your raw pumpkin seeds until they start to pop and are gently golden. Remove from heat and set aside to use as a garnish (optional). If you plan on using store-bought croutons then continue on to step 3. If you plan on making homemade croutons, cut up bread in small cubes (about 2-3 slices) , place a tablespoon or so of butter/margarine in your frying pan and melt, add the bread cubes, salt and pepper, add about a 1/4 teaspoon of garlic and a 1/4 teaspoon of herbs de Provence and stir just until bread is coated. Place your croutons on a greased cooking sheet for about 10-12 minutes at 190 degrees C or 375 degrees F.
Step 3: Cut your butternut in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds. Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Peel and cut carrots into slices. Toss carrots in olive oil and little salt and pepper. Pull off two cloves of garlic and leave on skin. Place the butternut squash, carrots and garlic on a pre-greased baking sheet and bake for about 45-50 minutes or until fork tender. The carrots and garlic will only take about 25-30 minutes to roast so assess them earlier and remove when fork tender. The butternut squash takes longer to cook, about 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Step 4: In a small frying pan place about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the onions until caramelized and cook the apples until fork tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
Step 5: Scoop the cooked butternut squash out from the skin. Gently squeeze the end of the garlic to get out the sweet roasted goodness. Place them in the blender/food processor with the cooked onion and apple mixture. Add the vegetable broth and process until smooth.
Step 6: Transfer the processed butternut squash mixture into a medium saucepan. Add ginger, cinnamon and cardamon and stir to combine, cook at a gentle simmer. Do not boil. Add coconut milk and stir.
Step 7: Pour soup into bowls and garnish with a little drizzle of coconut milk, roasted shelled pumpkin seeds and your homemade croutons. Enjoy!