August turned to September, and boom! Just like that, there was a big ol’ squash in our weekly box of CSA veggies from Inner City Farms.
Normally when I buy a squash, it ends up sitting on my counter for months till I finally remember to use it. They are excellent, edible fall decor, so that’s probably why I wait so long… but not this time! It hadn’t rained in Vancouver all of August, and we had record breaking heat (due to climate change) across BC, but as soon as September hit, we had a weekend of rain, and oh was it glorious!
The hit of fresh rain drops on parched leaves, earth, and face. The vivified circulation of ecosystems that had slowed to a crawl in the stagnant summer heat. The invigoration for getting back to your passions and goals. Spring and Fall have this effect on humans, ingrained in us as ancient inner wisdom to prepare for Winter, and to renew for Summer.
With that inner wisdom kicking in thanks to the cool breeze and rain, my mindbodysoul conjured up a need for squash soup and coziness.
We hit the Trout Lake Farmers Market for a few more ingredients (en pluie) and a simple Miso Squash Soup was the result!
Miso Squash Soup Ingredients
- 1 medium/large squash (any variety will do – this was a Red Kuri Squash)
- 1 large onion (chopped roughly)
- 1 medium sweet potato (chopped into rough cubes)
- 2 medium carrots (chopped into chunky rounds)
- 4-8 cloves of garlic (up to you, roast beforehand for a creamy sweetness)
- 4-6 cups homemade stock (veggie or chicken) or water will do in a pinch
- 2-4 healing tablespoons of miso paste (optional, but a great addition)
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (optional, if you don’t have it, no biggie)
- 1 tablespoon Turmeric powder (or raw grated in)
- Salt, Pepper, additional herbs and spices (we used caraway seeds, rosemary, paprika)
- few teaspoons grassfed butter/olive oil/avocado oil/coconut oil/ghee/bacon fat
- Cut squash into quarters, remove seeds (set aside in a bowl). Take two heads of garlic, cut off the top (of the whole head), drizzle oil (olive or avocado) and place cut side down in aluminum foil, wrapped up right. Roast squash and garlic for 1+ hour(s) till cooked (a fork can go in the squash fairly easily). This is an optional step! Do it the day before, or simply an hour-ish before Soup making time.
- In a big pot, saute onion in fat of choice on low heat for 15+ minutes (so it can carmelize and turn sweet and brown). While the onion is cooking down, prep the other ingredients!
- Add chopped sweet potato & carrots to onion, cooking & twirling around for a few minutes
- Add cooked squash (also roughly chopped)
- Add Stock (hopefully it’s enough liquid to cover, if not, add water)
- Let it all cook up till all those orange veggies are fork-tender. Cooking time will depend on how big/small you cut your veggies.
- Once cooked, use an immersion blender, and blend right in the pot!
- Add in miso paste (stir up with water first), extra liquid if soup is too thick & any other spices you want. Also, use this opportunity to scour your fridge & pantry for odds and ends you can use up! We used up some Apple Cider Vinegar, Caraway seeds, a spring of wilting Rosemary, Smoked Paparika, some left-over bacon fat, salt and pepper, turmeric powder
- Taste Test, and adjust spices to your liking! Really, this is just an inspiration recipe, not meant to be followed word for word. Get creative in the kitchen and trust your taste buds! If you have healthy ingredients on hand, don’t worry about the nutritional profile. Cooking at home = better nutritional value than eating out (99% of the time in my opinion).
Shallot Shiitake Topper Ingredients
- 2 Shallots
- Handful Shiitake mushrooms (or whatever mushrooms you have)
- Salt N Pep,
- Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt (full fat grass fed please… oh how we wish we could get raw in Canada)
- slice up shallots & shiitakes thinly
- saute in oil of choice (add herbs & spices if desired)
- top soup with sour cream/yogurt and Shallot Shiitake mix
Blended soups are very forgiving, and you can add just about anything to it, whether to hide healthful ingredients, or to go zero-waste and use up odds n’ ends lingering around.
This soup is thick, hearty, and chock full of mindbodysoul nutrients like beta-carotene, fibre, lycopene, vitamin c, iron, protein, copper, zinc, fatty acids, vitamin b (1, 6, 3, 2, 9), anti-oxidants and so much more. This recipe can be made vegetarian or vegan, and to suit any dietary needs. Serve it up with a thick slice of organic sourdough toast (fermented grains = happy tummy), or how about a tomato, cucumber, basil, feta salad? September can be a very contrasting month, with hot days and cool nights, and the bounty of the harvest coming in! Being part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) really forces you to pay attention to what’s in season, so we literally had squash, tomatoes, beans, basil, cucumber, greens and more coming in our weekly share. This forces you to get creative in the kitchen to use up that farm fresh goodness!
Buy local Organic // Bio-dynamic // Demeter whenever you can to support your health and the health of the planet, and join a CSA in Spring 2018 to get in on that locally-grown-know-your-farmer-community-eco-health-lifestyle that Vancouverites love.
xx Big City Hippie Maddy