Between my Food for Life classes, my kitchen ergonomics services, and my Rouxbe Plant-Based Professional Certification cooking course, I spend a lot of time thinking about healthy food. So for this post, I thought I would provide an easy and healthy Fall-themed recipe!
This time of year, there are an endless variety of beautiful winter squashes available at the grocery stores and farmers markets. I’ve always found them a bit intimidating, but this year, I’ve decided to learn how to use them in my cooking.
All varieties of winter squash are healthy. They’re low in calories but full of:
- complex carbohydrates
- vitamin A (due to the yellow/orange color of most)
And winter squash is such a versatile ingredient since it can be baked, roasted, steamed, and pureed. Squash can be used in desserts, baked goods, soup, rice dishes, pasta dishes, breakfasts, and salads.
For this recipe, I’ve chosen carnival squash because I think it is the most beautiful of all the varieties. I’ve combined it with apples and sage to create a healthy yet comforting soup that is great for the cooler weather of Fall and would make a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.
Creamy Roasted Carnival Squash Soup with Apple and Sage
- 2 medium-sized carnival squashes
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 6-8 fresh sage leaves, finely minced
- 1 unpeeled sweet or tart apple, cored and diced
- 2½ cups vegetable broth
- 1½ cups butternut squash soup (I like to use Pacific brand’s low sodium product)
- 1 cup water
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Pomegranate seeds
- Fried sage leaves
- Roasted carnival squash seeds
- Diced apple
The combination of liquids in the proportion recommended adds a nice combination of flavors to the finished product, but you can adjust the proportions of broth, butternut squash soup, and water to your preference.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the tip and end off of the squashes. Cut the squashes length-wise and scoop out the seeds.
Optional step: Clean the seeds, salt lightly, and set aside to roast as a garnish for the finished soup.
Lightly sprinkle salt on the squash halves and place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Bake squashes until they are easily pierced with a fork, 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Scoop out cooked squash and roughly chop.
Sweat the onions and sage in a large skillet over medium-low heat after lightly seasoning with salt. The natural moisture released from the onions should prevent them from sticking to the pan, but add small amounts of water or broth if needed.
When the mixture is mostly soft, add shallots and apples. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Transfer mixture to a soup pot. Add chopped squash, broth, water, and butternut squash soup. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
Transfer soup mixture in batches to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend each batch until smooth, covering the top of the blender with a towel to prevent spilling. You can also use an immersion blender in the soup pot.
Return each blended batch to the soup pot and keep warm over low heat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Garnish as desired.
I develop healthy plant-based recipes on a regular basis for my plant-based living blog the plantstrong life, so if you’d like more recipes like this, visit me there and sign up to have recipes sent directly to your inbox every week! And if you would like help learning how to incorporate more healthy foods into your diet or want to learn how to improve the ergonomics in your kitchen, contact me – I’d love to help you!