A creamy, satisfying, and invigorating butternut squash and carrot soup with hints of ginger and a generous dose of turmeric. The flavors here are warming, energizing, and vibrant. Top with some zaa’tar, a light drizzle of olive oil, and a dollop of labaneh or greek yogurt for a bowl of pure joy. And while this recipe makes for about 4 servings, I often have a couple of servings as a meal. It is that good. Undoubtedly one of the best winter soups for the soul.
INGREDIENTS/ SERVES 4
3 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
small pinch dried chili flakes
4 large cloves garlic
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoky, to your taste
1 butternut squash (about 920 gr.), cubed
6 carrots (about 620 gr.), sliced
5 cups/ 1.175 liters hot (low sodium) vegetable or chicken stock*
salt, to taste
good grinding freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
zaa’tar, for garnish
labaneh, for garnish
fresh cilantro/coriander, for garnish
1. Sauté the onion and chili flakes in the the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat for 6-8 minutes until soft and tender. Add the garlic, ginger, bay leaf, turmeric, and paprika. Cook for another 2 minutes while stirring.
2. Pour the vegetable stock into the pot and stir in the squash and carrots. Add salt and pepper to your taste. I used 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a good grinding of freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low, and leave to cook for about 35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
3. Carefully blend the soup using a hand blender or a regular blender in 2 batches. Check for salt and add to your liking. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon for extra tang, if you like. Serve and garnish with lots of fresh cilantro, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of zaa’tar, and a dollop of yogurt. Chill any leftover soup for up to 3 days.
* If you do not have liquid stock, I recommend using a low-sodium and organic vegetable stock cube and 5 cups of water. Otherwise, liquid vegetable or chicken stocks are my favorite options. Not using any stock at all, however, will result in less flavor.