It seems cruel that the winter seems to drag on through the middle of March. Shouldn’t we be starting to see some snow melt, daffodils poke their yellow heads through the cold earth, and maybe even the beginnings of some tulips? At least some temperatures reaching over 50 might be nice.
But this happens every year, and you know how we power through it? With amazing food and recipes using fresh but hearty ingredients. The key for us food that will also keep us warm. And luckily, black garlic is the perfect addition to most dishes that fit this description.
So when our inbox pinged and this recipe showed up, you can imagine our excitement! A delicious new recipe that will warm our bodies and hearts AND will keep us on track with our New Years healthy eating resolutions (remember those??) Bonus points if the recipe is super easy to make, and this one certainly is. Enjoy this beautiful and colorful soup with your favorite crusty bread.
Thanks to MindBodyGreen for dropping this healthy, soul-warming recipe into our inbox!
3 pounds (1.4 kg) butternut or kabocha squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed (8 cups)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Vidalia onion, diced (1½ cups/240 g)
¾ teaspoon peeled and minced fermented black garlic (about ¾ large clove)
5 thyme sprigs
2 cups (480 mL) filtered water
1 cup (240 mL) unsalted organic vegetable stock
2 tablespoons unfiltered cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
5 ounces (145 g) cooked and peeled chestnuts, chopped (1 cup)
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes
Super Seed Blend, optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the cubed squash on an unlined half sheet pan and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place in the oven to roast for 30 minutes, tossing the squash halfway through to roast evenly.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat and add the onion, black garlic, and thyme. Sauté for 20 minutes to slowly caramelize the onion.
Add the water, vegetable stock, vinegar, and squash to the onion mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs and stir in the pink salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
Transfer the soup to a high-powered blender or use an immersion stick blender and puree until ultrasmooth.
Heat the final tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the chestnuts. Brown the chestnuts, about 4 minutes, then season with the nutmeg and sea salt.
Serve the soup with freshly ground black pepper, wedges of lemon, and the pan-crisped chestnuts along with Super Seed Blend, if using.