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Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

In Life:

Today is a great day. Today is Food Day. Yes, that is really a thing, thankfully! Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food. Food Day is also the name of a national non-profit dedicated to advocating for better food policies in this country. But ultimately, what Food Day is all about is eating REAL food. Not food out of a box or package. Not food laden with sugar, salt and factory farmed meats. Food that is grown and produced locally (ideally), sustainably and with minimal pesticides or processing.

Clearly, this is a case near and dear to my heart. My long time friends and readers here know that I am all about local and seasonal foods. And I believe in them because I believe it is the way our bodies are meant to be fueled. I firmly believe that our bodies work best when the quality of the foods that enter it are at their highest. The litany of health problems faced by many people in the US today are in part by-products of the over-processed foods they eat every day. It’s sad but true.

I know this is a controversial topic. But that’s mainly because there are so many big companies that benefit from feeding us poor quality foods. Cheap processed food is big business. A good rule of thumb is that if there’s a commercial on TV trying to sell you a particular food, it’s probably not as “healthy” as the food producer claims it to be. Advertising can be very dangerous. It’s primary goal is to sell you things. Not to make sure you’re healthy, happy and satisfied in life. Believe me, I worked in advertising for six years. I’m still trying to get over that.

What it really comes down to is priorities. And what your priorities are. In the end, that’s your business and your business alone. But please, consider this way of eating and this way of life. It’s clean, sustainable and healthy. And best of all, it’s really not more expensive than eating a highly processed diet. Sometimes it does take a little longer to prepare foods, but the pay off in the end is a happier and healthier family. To me, it seems like that’s worth all the effort in the world.

I hope you and your family will find a way to celebrate Food Day today. And if you can’t do it today, do it soon. Food Day is not just a single day, it’s the start of a new way of life. We’re so blessed to have so much food at our disposal in this country. And so much good food. We just really need to be mindful of where it comes from and how it was brought to us. Only then can we start to reverse the years of decline of the heath of our people and the quality of our food supply.

How are you celebrating Food Day in your home today? We’re going to celebrate with a nice home cooked meal and some locally brewed beer – two of my favorite things!

In Cooking:

In celebration of Food Day, I’ve got a fantastic soup for you folks. It’s a butternut squash soup recipe that’s loaded with roasted red bell peppers, garlic, onions and spices. It’s very flavorful and reminiscent of some Tunisian/Moroccan flavors. What I wanted to do with this recipe is to recreate the flavors of harissa – roasted peppers, vinegar, spices. I was pretty successful with it, and I’m happy with how it turned out.

Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Besides how flavorful it is, one of my favorite things about this soup is how simple it is to create. The key ingredients you can see below are little more than butternut squash, roasted red pepper, fresh jalapeño, vinegar and a load of spices. The only thing I didn’t put in that picture was the dairy. It’s not always very pretty to photograph so I figured I’d forgo it. I know you forgive me!

Key Ingredients for Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

But the spices are really where it’s at in this soup. I used turmeric, curry powder, coriander, and cumin along with kosher salt. The combination of those flavors really help to give depth and loads of flavor to the dish. I have been using coriander in more and more dishes. It’s actually the seed from which cilantro is born, but coriander itself is sweet, bright and citrusy. It was a perfect compliment to the roasted pepper and other spices in this soup.

Key Spices for Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Speaking of roasted peppers, I really just can’t get enough of them. For the last few months, I’ve scarcely gone a day without roasted red peppers or some dish made with them in my fridge. They are very simple to prepare and store well in the fridge for a couple of weeks. For the last couple of months, I’ve been hitting some great sales on them, too at my local grocery store. The best deal I got was 2 for $0.88. I bought like 10 of them that week. Just as I am writing this I’m thinking about my trip to the grocery store later today because the roasted red peppers are on sale for $0.79 each. To me, anything at or under $1.00 each is a great deal.

Roasted Peppers

To wrap up, let’s go back to the top. I spoke briefly about milk earlier, but it bears a deeper discussion. Using milk in soups like this can be a gamble because if you get the milk too hot (as in, let it boil), the proteins can get damaged and the milk starts to look really grainy and gross. Once you add the milk to this dish, don’t let it boil. Be patient and slowly let the milk come up to a simmer. A simmer is all you really need to thoroughly cook the butternut squash pieces in 25 minutes.

Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

And there you have it, a delicious, creamy and healthy soup for the fall. This has been one of my favorite soups to make lately, and I’m just smitten. I hope you are, too!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Roasted Red Pepper and Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

This roasted red pepper and butternut squash soup recipe is the perfect fall treat. It features the flavors of harissa, a delicious Tunisian treat.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeño
  • 5 cups diced butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds whole squash)
  • 1 cup roasted red bell pepper
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Method:

  1. In a soup pot, melt butter over medium high heat.
  2. Add the onion and the salt and cook until onion starts to caramelize, around 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (except vinegar) and stir well. Bring just to a simmer and allow to stay there for 25 minutes. Do not let the milk boil. This is unnecessary and will make the milk appear very grainy. A low simmer will cook the butternut squash in the 25 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat, add vinegar and use an immersion blender to puree. If you're using a pot with non-stick coating, first move the soup to a vessel that will not scratch, such as a metal or plastic mixing bowl.
  6. Return to pot, stir well and serve.

Prep:30 min

Cook:45 min

Total:1 hour 15 min

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