Roasted Butternut Squash, Yam and Red Pepper Soup

Serves ~8 in 60 minutes

This rich golden puree is bursting with color, flavor and flavonoids! Flavonoids are the red, orange and yellow pigments found in vegetables and fruit. These phytonutrients reduce inflammation, improve blood flow to the eyes and enhance immunity. The olive oil activates key anti-cancer mechanisms within your body. The main flavors are from the squash and yam, with just enough roasted red peppers to add some punch.
If you’re in a rush, use a jar of roasted red peppers, a box of cubed butternut squash and microwave the yams, cutting prep time considerably. It is equally delicious served hot on a cold winter night or chilled in shot glasses as an appetizer for a summer dinner party.

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon smoked paprika (if not available, use good Hungarian paprika)
½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
2 cups red onion, rough chopped
1 T. garlic, rough chopped
2 cups red peppers, roasted and peeled (or a small jarred roasted peppers)
2 cups yams (orange sweet potatoes), baked, peeled and rough chopped
2 cups butternut squash, cubed into 1 inch pieces
8 cups of chicken broth (“Imagine” Organic Free Range Chicken Broth)
2-3 teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon of fresh limejuice

Garnish with:
1 avocado, diced into ¼ inch cubes
½ cup cilantro leaves, rough chopped
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Gather and prep the ingredients. Heat a large (8 qt.) stockpot for one minute over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat until the oil shimmers (~30 seconds). Sauté the red chili flakes and fennel seeds for 30 seconds. Then add the onion and sauté over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until it begins to brown. Stir in the garlic, thyme, cayenne and smoked paprika to toast for 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the butternut squash, red peppers and salt and cook on medium for 20-30 minutes, until the squash is soft enough to blend. Add the cooked, cubed yams and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before blending.

Begin transferring 2 cups of soup at a time to the food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer the blended soup to another pan to keep warm. Stir well and adjust the seasonings. Adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice at the end often balances the flavors. Once the soup is thoroughly heated, ladle into bowls and garnish with a little avocado, cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Sally LaMont, ND, LAc