This is a heartwarming healthy soup to start off the new year right! The roasted veggies give it a nice richness. It has a nice buttery flavor and a wonderful creamy texture without the use of butter. I added the tiniest amount of curry powder, however, it really doesn’t taste like curry but it adds a great depth of flavor! You can add a little crunch with the addition of pomegranate seeds.
I am so excited about the new year, partially because I’m getting married in March! Yayyy married… I can’t believe it will be here before I know it. Yes, it’s going to be a great year, I can just feel it, how about you?
This soup goes best with a white wine like a Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris or a Sauvignon Blanc.
Recipe: 4 – 6 servings
- 6 Cups Butternut Squash – cubed
- 1 Leek
- 1 Fennel Bulb
- 3 Cups Coconut Milk (about 2 cans)
- 1 Cup Filtered Water
- 1/2 Onion – Diced
- 1/3 Cup Dry White Wine
- 2 Garlic Cloves – minced
- 2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil – plus some for veggies
- 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube – unsalted
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Lemongrass
- 1 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Curry Powder (I used Simply Organic)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
- Pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Fennel Fronds (optional)
Cut the stem and bottom off the squash then peel the squash with a peeler, slice and cube into about 1-inch cubes, measure and add to a baking sheet.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Wash the leek really well. There is always dirt on the inside. Watch this how to video if you have never cooked with leek before. Cut the roots off, cut in half lengthwise and cut the halves in half lengthwise.
Add the leek to the baking sheet.
Cut stalks off the fennel bulb, cut bulb in half, then cut out the core, slice the halves into halves and add to the baking sheet.
Drizzle all the veggies with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
With your hands toss the oil and the squash and rub onto the leek and fennel.
Bake on middle rack for 30 – 40 minutes or until slightly brown on the edges.
While veggies are roasting; dice the onion, mince the garlic and add to a 3 or 4-quart soup pot or dutch oven along with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Saute on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until garlic is slightly golden. Add the wine and bullion. Mash the bullion to dissolve and cook until wine is syrupy.
Add the coconut milk and spices then cook on medium-low until veggies are done.
Add the veggies and coconut base to a food processor in batches or use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. Put back into the pot and cook for 10 to 15 minutes to incorporate the flavors.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds and fennel fronds.
* You can also garnish with cilantro.
Butternut Squash is a great source of fiber and folate making it heart and bowel healthy it has an abundance of carotenoids that is great for eye health and also helps protect against heart disease and very high levels of beta-carotene. It regulates blood sugar levels helping to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and increasing energy levels. It has a significant amount of potassium and vitamin B6 which is great for the nervous and immune systems. A 1-cup serving gives about half the recommended amount of antioxidant-rich vitamin C. Winter squash also helps in the prevention of prostate, colon, lung & breast cancers.
Fennel is a very good source of fiber that helps limit cholesterol build-up and helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood. The fiber also helps remove carcinogens from the colon and it can eliminate constipation. It contains the phytonutrient anethole, the main part of its volatile oil that has been shown to reduce inflammation and also helping prevent the occurrence of cancer. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is helpful for eye inflammation, and reduces premature aging and macular degeneration. There are high levels of potassium in the fennel bulbs and seeds and can help increase brain function and cognitive abilities and it also increases the reach of oxygen to the brain. The fronds above the fennel bulbs contain important vitamins, like pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.
Leeks allicin content reduces cholesterol production, blood pressure, blood vessel stiffness and protects the lining. Leeks help chronic low-level inflammations like in diabetes, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis. They contain polyphenols that are known to be strong antioxidants that fight against free radicals, which help with chronic disease and aging. They are good sources of vitamin-A, C and K.