I really have a thing for orange colored foods. Sweet potatoes, carrot juice, nacho cheese... Whether you are talking about health food or junk food the color orange is usually a sure-fire sign that I'll like it. That's one reason why I make soup from root veggies so often. Besides my natural affinity to warm colored vegetables I find these soups to be stupid easy to make and extremely versatile when it comes to flavoring. I've made about a zillion variation on the basic pureed veggie and stock combo. I've added curry spices, cheese and broccoli, and even miso. It seems like every time I turn around I'm making an orange colored soup.
This soup is a little extra vibrant thanks to some fresh turmeric. Turmeric not only adds a bright, sunny flavor to this soup, but is also valued for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Between an ongoing lack of sleep and hours spent everyday hunched over a tiny little person I have my fair share of aches and pains. Add to that discomfort my battle with Austin's dreaded Cedar Fever and you've pretty much sussed out my motivation for making a batch of turmeric soup. I'm inflamed, baby, and I need something to bring that mess down a notch.
By the way, I thought of calling this stuff Sunshine Soup because it's flavor struck me as bright. Turmeric has a taste that is hard to describe - the closest adjective I can seem to muster is sunny. Thus Sunshine Soup. Some Googling revealed several other recipes for Sunshine Soup, but none of them seemed to be anything alike, so I'm guessing that the title isn't really officially attached to any particular soup yet. When it goes for a vote, remember me. Turmeric = sunny = sunshine soup. Makes sense, yes?
Butternut Sunshine Soup
Makes about six one-cup servings
- 2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 large sweet onion (vidalia is best, but yellow will do), peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil/fat (grapeseed, olive, bacon fat, or melted butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon dry sage powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 quart stock or broth (I used chicken, but veggie would be fine)
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh turmeric or 1/2 teaspoon dry turmeric
- the juice from one lemon
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the squash, onion, and garlic with the oil, spices, salt, and pepper. Spread the squash out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat. Roast for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the roasted squash to a large soup or stock pot along with the stock/broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add turmeric, then using a stick (or immersion) blender, puree the soup until totally smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, then taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.