Spiced Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup
I adore warm blended soups. The creaminess and satisfying spiciness is a perfect complement to chunky slices of bread on a cold day. This version has some delicious North African spices and the squashiness is balanced with carrots and onions. It is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free and utterly mouthwatering. You'll never make butternut squash soup any other way.
4 medium carrots
1 large yellow onion
2 cups vegetable broth
2 small or 1 large butternut squash
2 tbsp butter
1 can coconut milk
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp Ras El Hanout
2-3 tbsp Just Date Syrup
1 tsp kosher salt or to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Peel and remove the seeds from the squash. Chop into large chunks to about 1 1/2 inch cubes. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, drizzle with olive oil and salt and bake for about 20-30 minutes, flipping the chunks midway. Bake until the undersides become brown and caramelly looking. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, in an instant pot or large dutch oven, saute over medium heat roughly chopped carrots and onions in butter and oil. Stir often and allow the edges to brown. Look for a brown caramelly film on the bottom of the pan. If you need to add more butter to keep it from sticking or burning, do so.
Once the bottom has a nice brown sticky layer (but isn't burnt!!) add the spices and salt and stir until they become fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add the broth to deglaze the pan and scrape the bottom to incorporate all that caramelized goodness. Add the squash chunks and 2 bay leaves.
If you're using an instant pot, set on high pressure for 20 minutes. If you are using a dutch oven, add another cup of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat onto low, put the cover on and let simmer for 40 minutes or so. The carrots should be very tender.
After the soup has simmered (or been pressure cooked), use an immersion blender and liquify the soup. Add the can of coconut milk and date syrup and adjust the salt. Serve with Carrot Top Chimmichurri and chili crisp!
recipe by Caitlin Heinz