As the wind whips around, red, orange, and yellow leaves swirl around into a frenzy. Large snow clouds roll in across the horizon, threatening to release white, fluffy flakes by the hundred-fold. Sweaters are pulled from storage, thermal blankets are placed atop beds, and the season gracefully shifts. Visions of delicious soups, stews, and baked goods fill my head. Getting tingly all over considering favorite fall food dishes, I have reason to believe I am not alone. Need I say more than pumpkin spice?
Personally, I am a sweet and savory kind of gal. I enjoy dishes with full-on flavor, a pinch of salt, and a touch of sweetness. I love steaming mugs of savory soups and stews that warm the tummy on a blistery cold, snowy day. Butternut squash soup is, by far, one of my top favorites in the family of comfort foods. Such sweet consolation can be found in wrapping my hands around a hot bowl of satisfying, nourishing, and delectable brothy stew.
Butternut Squash Soup
While there are many variations of this recipe, many utilize heavy cream as a key ingredient in the soup. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against delightful heavy cream; however, I currently have a mostly dairy-free diet. With dairy products being linked to the increase of inflammation through the digestive tract, seeking more refined and dairy-free alternatives have helped reduce inflammation throughout my body systems.
After some trial and error, I have adapted this butternut squash recipe to fit my dietary needs. Dairy-free, gluten-free, and packed with flavor, this dish keeps me coming back for more. As an added bonus, I find that I don’t miss the heavy cream much after all. All in all, the result has been enjoying a recipe that makes a most delectable, savory, and flavor-filled soup. It is one I keep readily on hand and stocked in the freezer. I love to enjoy it for meals throughout the fall and winter seasons.
- Butternut squash, roasted
- 1 tablespoon bacon fat, coconut oil or ghee
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup diced carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed
- Sea salt
- 2 pinches of dry sage
- Black pepper
- 16 ounces chicken broth (for added nourishment, consider making your own homemade broth)
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional but recommended)
- 2 tablespoons water (or more for thinner soup)
- Juice of 1 orange (or 1-2 drops of wild orange essential oil)
- 2 drops Cardamom essential oil
- 2 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
First, halve the squash and place it face down in a glass or ceramic roasting dish. Bake for approximately 30-55 minutes. Once the squash has been roasting for about 20 minutes, begin to cook the rest of the soup ingredients on the stove-top.
Use a large pot to sauté the bacon fat, onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until the vegetables begin to brown on the edges and become tender. Next, place the garlic in the pot to sauté, adding the seasonings of salt, sage and pepper. Allow this to cook for just a couple of minutes to take the edge off of the raw garlic. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk and water. Meanwhile, the squash should be roasted and can be added to the mixture. Stir together and when it’s all combined, allow the soup to cool for a bit.
Cooking with Essential Oils
Now that the soup has cooled sufficiently, it is time to add the drops of essential oils. It is important to understand that heat can tamper with the chemical composition of oils. Making sure food is cooled sufficiently is a significant factor to cooking with them. With their potency and purity being fundamental benefits, enjoying the health advantages they offer is truly an added bonus! Known and used in the culinary world as a pungent spice, the potency from just a single drop of cardamom will considerably enhance the flavor of recipes. It’s strong, balsamic aroma and minty flavor makes it a popular ingredient in traditional Indian sweets and teas. Ultimately, it also makes a great companion to coffees, teas, sauces, and pastries while offering the benefit of aiding in digestion.
Likewise, cinnamon bark oil has a long history of culinary uses. Adding a drop to dishes, coffees or teas is a delightful way to enjoy health benefits. For example, cinnamon bark oil is linked to helping maintain a healthy immune system and/or supporting healthy metabolic function. Adding a couple of drops to this soup truly brings a sweet spiciness that is delectable. Therefore, it’s a guilt-free option of added sweetness without the added sugar!
Lastly, add the juice from a freshly squeezed orange, or a couple drops of wild orange essential oil. Pour all cooled ingredients into a blender or food processor and process in small batches until it is of a smooth consistency. Adjust seasonings and add more drops of any of the oils as needed.
Truly, this soup is comfort in a bowl. Serve up a healthy portion in a large dish, put up your feet, and savor every spoonful.
If you would like more knowledge about the therapeutic and versatile benefits of using essential oils, please visit my Facebook Group, Hope for Wellness.